Instant Pot Irish Stew

irish stew

Instant Pot Irish Stew is the real deal, a classic rich stew made with lamb, potatoes, root veggies, cabbage, and, of course, a good dose of Guinness. Only instead of simmering long hours on the stove, this stew cooks in just 30 minutes!

Irish stew made in the instant pot

What’s the difference between Irish stew and beef stew?

Irish stew is the national dish of Ireland and they take it very seriously, but it’s really a simple peasant dish. It’s made with lamb and root vegetables, two staples of the countryside for generations. The givens are potatoes, onions, and parsley, but my version is slightly more plant based, with lots of extra veggies. Irish stew was traditionally cooked over an open fire, but I’m here to tell you that the Instant Pot has got this!

Ingredients you’ll need for my Irish stew

  • lamb, usually from the shoulder, cut in chunks
  • beer or ale, I used Guinness
  • beef broth
  • Worcestershire sauce (the secret weapon)
  • leeks
  • turnips
  • parsnips
  • carrots
  • potatoes
  • cabbage
  • fresh thyme

I love to use leeks in my stew, along with peppery turnips and sweet parsnips in addition to the traditional carrots and potatoes. (Lots of potatoes!)  Worcestershire sauce enriches the beef and Guinness broth that forms the backbone of this stew.

Ingredients for Instant Pot Irish Stew

The Instant Pot cooks Irish stew in a fraction of the time

Traditionally the secret to a great stew is a long, slow simmering on the stove top or in a low oven. Over time the meat becomes fork tender and the flavors develop. The high pressure in the Instant Pot accomplishes this same effect so much quicker, it’s a no brainer.

The beauty of the Instant Pot is that you can brown the meat right in the pot, which makes it super convenient and cuts way down on mess and clean up.

browning lamb or beef for Instant Pot Irish stew

Instant Pot Irish Stew in a green bowl

Do as the Irish do and smash some of the potatoes as you eat to sop up the rich broth! And since this is a complete meal in itself, you don’t need much to go along with it….

Irish recipes to go along with your Irish stew ~

irish stew
3.53 from 78 votes

Instant Pot Irish Stew

Instant Pot Irish Stew is a classic lamb stew made with potatoes, root veggies, cabbage, and, of course, a good dose of Guinness!  It cooks in 30 minutes!
Course dinner
Cuisine Irish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 1 1/2 lb lamb cut in bite sized pieces (you can also use beef)
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup of beer or ale Guinness is perfect
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 leeks, sliced and well rinsed. Trim the tough green end and discard.
  • 2 or 3 parsnips peeled and sliced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 or 4 small or 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4 red skinned potatoes peeled, halved and thickly sliced
  • a bundle of fresh thyme or rosemary
  • 1/4 head green cabbage very thinly sliced


  • 2 Tbsp soft unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour


  • Fresh parsley


  • Toss the meat with the flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper to coat.
  • Set the Instant Pot to saute and add 1 Tablespoon of the oil. When the pot is hot, brown the meat on all sides, working in batches so you don’t crowd the pot. Add the rest of the oil as necessary.
  • Remove the lamb and set aside.
  • Add the Guinness to the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Press cancel. Add the meat back into the pan along with the stock, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, and veggies. Add the bundle of rosemary or thyme.
  • Close the lid, lock, and set the vent to the seal position. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. When the machine beeps, let the pressure release naturally, this may take 15 – 20 minutes.
  • Add the cabbage to the stew and stir well. It will wilt in the heat of the stew.
  • Meanwhile make a paste of the butter and flour, and when the stew is done, blend it in, stirring well, to thicken the broth slightly. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve with lots of chopped parsley. This is the most important step in the recipe ~ take the time to taste and adjust, it makes all the difference.

Cook’s notes

The Instant Pot will cook the meat fork tender, and the veggies will be soft.  I like to cut them in relatively large pieces so they don’t fall apart.  If you like your veggies more on the firm side, you can do the cooking in 2 stages.  Cook the meat for 15 minutes, then let the pressure release and add the veggies for another 15 minutes of cooking.
You may want to use a dash or two of gravy browning sauce like Kitchen Bouquet if your broth is not as deep as you’d like.


No Instant Pot?  No problem!

  • Use a large stew pot and go through step 6 on the stove top, then pop your stew, covered, into a 325F oven for 3 hours.  
  • Then proceed with steps 7 & 8 in the recipe.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Do you have a slow cooker version of this?

  • Reply
    Kari Frazier
    March 18, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    5 stars
    I’m newer to using my Instant Pot and to cooking in general.. I also have never cooked with lamb before – and I found this recipe incredibly easy to follow! I wanted to make my boyfriend something for St Patrick’s Day and he absolutely loved this! We have never tried parsnips, turnips or leeks before – so it was interesting to try those! Mine didn’t come out pretty like the pictures and was really thick after doing the butter/flour mixture – but it tastes great! I made Irish Soda Bread in the Instant Pot before making this stew and they went perfectly together! Thank you for sharing your recipe!

    • Reply
      March 18, 2020 at 2:35 pm

      I’m so glad you loved this Kari, Happy St Patrick’s Day!

  • Reply
    March 1, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Hi Sue! I’m hosting a St. Pat’s party and was wondering if I could make this in a crock pot since I won’t be home all day. Looking forward to serving it! Thanks!

    • Reply
      March 1, 2020 at 8:30 am

      Yes, absolutely, but be sure to do the same browning and deglazing etc steps on the stove top first, for best flavor.

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    February 21, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Whether it’s Irish, Italian or French stew, we love them all! It’s makes the best dinner all winter long! Love the instant pot version! Delish!!

  • Reply
    December 13, 2019 at 3:16 pm

    5 stars
    This is comfort in a bowl! Quick and flavorful are my favorite words during these busy cold months!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2019 at 9:09 am

    Hi! This looks amazing! Do you think I could use lamb that is still frozen?? Thanks!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2019 at 10:50 am

      Yes, the only issue would be that it wouldn’t brown. You might consider thawing it first, then you can get that extra flavor that comes from a good sear.

  • Reply
    Marie Connolly
    October 24, 2019 at 9:13 am

    Real Irish Stew does not have cabbage or red potatoes! It does have turnip. The broth is not thick or deep brown. I’ve had this several times in Ireland & was given the receipt by Irish chef.
    Turnip / rutabaga
    Beef broth
    Pint Guinness

  • Reply
    S. McCarrol
    August 13, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    5 stars
    My family loves this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      August 13, 2019 at 6:00 pm

      Thanks! I’m looking forward to Instant Pot stew season 🙂

    • Reply
      January 10, 2021 at 7:47 pm

      5 stars
      She did say it’s not the traditional recipe. She added a little more to it.

  • Reply
    Barnett Frankel
    December 24, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    5 stars
    Made using pork and Brussel sprouts. Followed rest of recipe (found baby golden potatoes on sale so had lots of them!). Great recipe for the instant pot. Thanks so much.

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    i can’t help myself–i love downton abbey! it’s just so majestic and romantic and i really think i was meant to be living during that era (hopefully upstairs rather than down…)! 🙂

  • Reply
    Hungry Dog
    January 10, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    I’ve had stew on my mind recently and now you’re just encouraging it! 🙂 Actually the weather is too warm here for stew but I suspect it won’t last. And we happen to have the first disc of Downton Abbey cued up from Netflix…

  • Reply
    January 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    Lovely stew and beautiful photos!

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    This looks so good…and your photographs are amazing!!

  • Reply
    Sarah (Snippets of Thyme)
    January 9, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Oh, this Irish Stew looks perfect for our stormy Houston weather right now. We are celebrating with the downpour of rain we are experiencing. I am hooked on Downtown Abbey as well but we don’t have cable so I need to figure out how watch this Season 2. Totally correct about the trite acting but somehow engaging nonetheless.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    Once again, we are thinking alike. We’re having stew for dinner tonight! Your photos are gorgeous, as always, Sue.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 11:18 am

    These photos remind me of my time spent in Ireland. Don’t love soda bread?! I’ll have to let that slide 😉 What about brown bread?

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 9, 2012 at 2:17 am

    PS love Downtown Abbey can’t wait for the series to return downunder!

  • Reply
    Magnolia Verandah
    January 9, 2012 at 2:16 am

    Just too hot here for stew at the moment but I do love a good Irish Stew – I haven’t made one for ages and your photos are so inciting I will have to bookmark this one.

  • Reply
    January 9, 2012 at 3:31 am

    I was initially excited about Downton Abbey, but it got a bit stifling after about 20 minutes. Maybe I’ll give the second season a go. Great looking stew!

  • Reply
    Louise @ cosmetic bee
    January 9, 2012 at 2:19 am

    This looks delicious and I will definitely try it out. That’s a very good idea to add the vegetables an hour after you start cooking, I will do that the next time I make beef stew. Just a few days ago, I made a beef stew based on Nigella’s recipe for steak & kidney pudding (in “How to be a Domestic Goddess”). I skip the kidney and add potatoes and carrots instead, and then use her pie crust recipe, to make beef pot pies.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    January 9, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Love Downtown Abbey but would love a bowl of this stew more – delicious!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    January 8, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    I agree with you about the debates, and to think this is going to go on through November! But, I’m a HUGE Downton Abby fan LOL! Your stew looks delicious, but hubby wouldn’t eat it with lamb . . . so I have to use beef in my stew.

    I made your gingerbread pancakes this a.m. – delicious! Hubby loved ’em!

    Have a wonderful Sunday!


  • Reply
    hostess of the humble bungalow
    January 8, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Oh I am a huge fan of Julian Fellowes and his Downton Abbey is just my cup of tea!
    The Irish Stew looks delicious…
    I put turnips in my version of this satisfying dish.

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