Irish Stew & Other St Patrick’s Day Recipes

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A classic Irish Stew is simple and flavorful. It comes together easily with meaty chunks of beef, potatoes, and carrots. And it brings ultimate comfort.

Irish Stew | Life as Mom

One of my favorite parts about teaching my kids at home is the great reading we get to do together. A book that we read early on in my homeschooling career was St Patrick: Pioneer Missionary to Ireland. The kids and I just finished a reread of the book last week.

The biography tells the story of Patrick, how he was kidnapped by Celts, how God saved him, how he escaped from Ireland, and how he later returned to Ireland to preach the good news of Christ. It’s a great read aloud. (More books we’ve enjoyed reading aloud are here.)

While I think that leprechauns and rainbows are fun, I like to look at the real story or spiritual significance behind a holiday or special occasion. It makes any celebration we do a little more fun.

We often reread this book during the month of March, and we always have a simple, special meal come St. Patrick’s Day. We enjoy Irish Stew and Soda Bread. If I’m feeling extra “splurgy” (is that a word?) I might buy Irish butter or Dubliner cheese to go with. (Costco sells both of these made by Kerrygold.)

For dessert, I go apple with an easy Apple Crisp or a Slab Apple Pie.

Irish Stew | Life as Mom

This stew is amazingly simple to make and it’s more or less authentic to the occasion. Patrick lived very simply; for many years he was enslaved by a Celtic chief, working as a shepherd. Later he lived a humble life of a clergyman, shepherding a different kind of flock.

I imagine that this stew might be something like what he might have eaten. Tradition would say to use lamb in Irish Stew, but that’s not super cheap or readily available in these here parts, so I use a chuck roast instead. You can omit the flour if you are cooking gluten-free. It just thickens up the sauce a bit.

Our Irish Stew is pretty simple, containing few ingredients and cooking in the slow cooker. I leave the baby carrots whole and chop the potatoes rather large, but you can chop them how you like them. I prefer to add the vegetables in the last two hours of cooking so that they don’t get super mushy. You can add them earlier; just know that they will have a much softer texture come serving time.

Tools I use to make this EASY:

What special recipe do you make for St. Patrick’s Day? Share it with us.

Years ago I hosted a recipe swap here on Ye Olde Blog. Here are some of the recipes that folks contributed when this post was first published on March 12, 2009.

And check out some of the original photos I shared. Oh my.

Irish Stew | Life as Mom

Irish Stew | Life as Mom

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Hoosier Homemade says:

    Thanks for hosting!
    Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  2. jolie says:

    The stew sounds yummy and simple! What ages would you recommend for the book? Any book ideas for preschoolers?

  3. Jill says:

    I left a link to a soda bread that isn’t exactly “traditional” but really, really delicious! I also celebrate this holiday as a way to teach my children about this missionary and follower of Christ. Here is a link to more info and some books we like

  4. Snow White says:

    that recipe looks great — I didn’t think about having Irish Stew in honor of St. Patty’s Day!

  5. Jenna says:

    to answer your question about cheese type in green mac n cheese,
    yup, you could add the spinach puree to any cheese sauce base. i’m not sure it would work if you just added shredded cheese to the spinach puree as you might not get a smooth sauce that coats the pasta. thx for hosting a recipe swap, thursday is one of my favorite blogging days 🙂

  6. Katchmo says:

    We always make Blarney Stones:,1610,146177-232202,00.html
    To make them gluten free, just substitute your favorite gluten free flour mix for the flour and add 2 t xanthan gum. This year I have the added challenge of making them without refined sugar. If I succeed, I’ll post the recipe on my site.

  7. CountryMama@The Cozy Country Home says:

    We’re a big Irish family and this is the stew I grew up on… the exact same one!! I make it all the time! How funny…food brings people all over the country and world together!!

  8. Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam says:

    Oh, I have that book…and definitely need to go pull it out as our read aloud for the month. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  9. Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam says:

    And as I keep checking Mr. Linky around midnight ECT, I just realized that you are a west coast girl now. That means that us East Coast girls will be in poor shape to home school if we wait for it to post on thursdays at midnight. :)Bummer.

  10. Rebecca says:

    I was introduced to the “Carnival” concept this week, so your blog is the first time I used Mr. Linky’s Magical Widgets. I mistakenly added #28 without the recipe name, so I added #29. If you would like to delete #28, please do so!

    Thank you for hosting this sharing!

  11. Hmmm…not seeing a link, so I’m probably totally doing this wrong (or it’s over and I missed it), but anyway…
    Here’s the link to our Irish Supper Menu:

  12. ROFLOL! When people tweet something I figure they are current! Thanks for the smile this morning.

  13. Love finding new St. Pat day’s recipes, thanks for sharing. Here is a fun meal fit for a leprechaun, the kids love all the green. As a bonus it is super easy to make!


  14. Deb Harris says:

    I’m a follower that usually doesn’t comment but have a question. I love this Irish Stew & have made ones very similar. What I’m wondering is about freezing it. I’ve started slowly freezing meals & love having meals in the freezer. I’ve never frozen stews or things with potatoes because I’d always heard they didn’t freeze well. Does this freeze well? I really hope so. I’m half Irish, my mother was born there. My biggest dream is to visit, don’t know if it’ll happen but I keep hoping. Love your site & use lots of recipes & info. Thanks

    • Good question. Yes, sometimes the potatoes get a little mushy, particularly if you use regular russets. Red potatoes have a different texture, so they hold up better on freezing. Another alternative is to make the stew without the potatoes and then serve it over mashed potatoes, champ, or colcannon.

  15. Jodi says:

    We do this stew, or a variation, and colcannon, a cabbage and potato dish that is fabulous. Here is one recipe. We usually add a little bacon. Because, bacon:

  16. I made this on Sunday for a freezer meal that never made it into the freezer because it smelled so good and was equally delicious. At our house we always have corned beef, cabbage and red potatoes smothered in mustered.

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