Healthy Irish Beef Stew Recipe

Irish Stew, or stobhach gaelach, as it’s called in Gaelic, is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, the less tender meat from sheep over two years of age.

To some purists, true Irish stew only consists of lamb, onions and potatoes and no other root vegetables. Our version, though, uses beef, reflecting the hearty and flavorful dish’s evolution and assimilation into American cuisine.

We’ve also added more color and nutritional value with carrots and parsnips. Parsnips are a member of the carrot family and they provide a slightly nutty and sweet quality to the mixture. And the pungency of fresh, chopped rosemary enhances the aroma as the stew simmers.

This satisfying stew is easy to prepare and it makes great leftovers. March weather can still be nippy, but you can chase away the chill with this nutritious meal in a bowl. Or enjoy it with a crusty piece of whole-wheat or multigrain bread and a green salad.

American-Irish Stew Recipe

  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 lbs. beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces (stew beef with the fat trimmed may be substituted)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
  • 3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth, or as needed
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 leek, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.

Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 75 minutes or until meat is tender.

Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender. Do not overcook to avoid potatoes falling apart.

Serve hot and garnish with parsley.

Makes 6 servings. Nutrition per serving (1-1/4 cups): 370 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 427 mg sodium.

denver bread

Irish Stew + Crusty Bread = Heaven

Make this the ultimate comfort meal and have a fresh-baked multigrain loaf from The Denver Bread Company delivered to your door. It’s made with wholesome ingredients and is very lightly sweetened with molasses. No bowl of stew is complete without it!


Recipe and photo courtesy of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) — the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity, and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results.

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