This Instant Pot Irish stew is a modern version of a traditional Guinness stew. Made with tender lamb and potatoes, this Irish stew is the perfect comfort food for St Patrick’s Day (and any other chilly day, for that matter).
Want to Save This Recipe?
Enter your email and I'll send it straight to your inbox. Plus, get great new recipes from me every week!
Traditional Irish stew is slow-cooked, but if you don’t have the time for that, this easy Instant Pot Irish stew delivers the same flavours in a fraction of the time.
I make this Guinness stew in the Instant Pot because it cooks so much faster, which means there’s no need to plan ahead.
This is a rich stew with complex flavours and the trick to obtaining the best taste is to use lamb instead of beef.
While many Irish stew recipes are made with beef this day, especially in America, lamb is actually the traditional way to do it.
Mixing tender lamb with the deep flavour of Guinness beer, Worcestershire sauce and fresh thyme results in a stew so delicious you won’t believe it was ready in just 30 minutes!
What do you need to make Instant Pot Irish Stew?
Lamb — Irish stew was traditionally made with mutton or goat, but nowadays, young lamb is the meat of choice.
Lamb is delicate and tender and much easier to source. You can also use diced beef instead.
Don’t skip the browning step because you’ll be missing out on some amazing flavours.
Garlic — Garlic is not necessarily an essential ingredient in Irish lamb stew, and you’ll find versions that skip it. I personally like the way garlic pairs with lamb and thyme, so I add a couple of finely minced cloves.
Onion, carrot and celery — Onion is the only veggie that you’ll find in all versions of Iris stew. Some add carrot and/or celery for extra texture and flavour.
I like to add both because the veggies bring extra colour and brightness to the stew.
Potatoes — Floury potatoes are best for this Instant Pot Irish lamb stew because they contribute to the thickness of the sauce.
Peel the potatoes and then cut them into 1-inch pieces. They may seem big, but they’ll break down a bit in the Instant Pot.
Guinness stout — Half a bottle of Guinness is the ingredient that infuses this Irish lamb stew with rich, complex flavours.
Guinness is a type of Irish stout with a history that goes back to 1759. You won’t be able to actually feel it in the stew, but the beer is an essential element for the flavouring.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to replicate the same flavours if you don’t cook with alcohol. You can use some extra lamb stock and Worcestershire sauce, as a substitute, but the taste won’t be the same.
Thyme — The flavour of fresh thyme pairs perfectly with the lamb, but you can use 1 teaspoon dried thyme if you don’t have any fresh herbs on hand.
Lamb stock — By using lamb stock in this Guinness stew, you’ll be able to enhance the flavour of the lamb. If you can’t find it, chicken or vegetable stock will also do.
Cornstarch — This is optional but recommended if you want a thicker sauce. Irish stew can be served brothy or thicker, so it really depends on your preference.
How to make Irish stew in the Instant Pot?
Set the Instant Pot on “Saute” and heat the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the diced lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes until browned.
Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and Guinness and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with your spoon. Continue to cook for another minute, then turn off the “Saute” function.
Stir in the fresh thyme, carrot, celery, potatoes and lamb stock. Set the Instant Pot to “High Pressure” for 10 minutes.
When the time is up, perform a quick release. Remove the lid after the pin drops and stir in the cornstarch mixture.
If the stew is too thin, set the Instant Pot to “Saute” again and simmer for 3-5 minutes until it thickens to your liking.
Season to taste and serve with soda bread or your favourite hearty bread, garnished with some fresh parsley, if you like.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can use either lamb shoulder or leg for this recipe. Don’t cut the meat into very small cubes because they will cook too quickly and will fall apart as a result.
- You can add some tomato paste and bay leaves for extra flavour.
- Serve this Instant Pot Irish stew with soda bread or over a generous helping of mashed potatoes.
- The stew will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. It also freezes well for up to 3 months.
If you liked this easy Instant Pot Irish stew, you might also like some of my other easy Instant Pot recipes?
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Stuffed Pepper Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup
- Instant Pot Barley Risotto with Mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 450 g (1 lb) lamb shoulder, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, roughy chopped
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ bottle Guinness (250 ml)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, sliced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 450 g (1 lb) potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 400 ml (2 cups) lamb stock
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 tablespoons hot water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley, to garnish, optional
- Set the Instant Pot on “Sauté” and heat the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add the diced lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes until browned.
- Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for another minute until fragrant.
- Add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes until slightly softened. Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and Guinness and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with your spoon. Continue to cook for another minute, then turn off the “Sauté” function.
- Stir in the fresh thyme, carrot, celery, potatoes and stock. Set the Instant Pot to “High Pressure” for 10 minutes.
- When the time is up, perform a quick release. Remove the lid after the pin drops and stir in the cornstarch mixture. If the stew is too thin, set the Instant Pot to “Sauté” again and simmer for 3-5 minutes until it thickens to your liking.
- Season to taste and serve with soda bread or your favourite hearty bread, garnished with some fresh parsley, if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 167mgSodium: 388mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 4gSugar: 5gProtein: 51g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.