Slow Cooker Irish Stew
Our take on a traditional Irish stew for a simple, warming dinner that's perfect for slimming plans like Weight Watchers!
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For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!
This Slow Cooker Irish Stew combines tender lamb with fresh chunky root vegetables in a savoury gravy that really hits the spot on a chilly day! Most families tend to have their own recipe for this stew, and here’s ours.
Perfect for when you’re craving comfort food or have a busy day ahead, you can load up the slow cooker in the morning and return home to a perfectly cooked, warming stew that’s ready to tuck into.
We’ve used diced leg of lamb but there’s no need to spend a fortune on lamb: slow cooking tenderises the meat beautifully for this recipe.
It’s substantial enough to eat on its own but you can serve with a pile of steamed veggies or a dollop of creamy mashed potato to make it go even further if you’d like.
What diets is this Slow Cooker Irish Stew suitable for?
This Slow Cooker Irish Stew recipe can be made gluten free as long as you swap out the following ingredients for gluten free versions;
- Pearl barley
- Worcestershire sauce – we like to use Henderson’s Relish as a great gluten free substitute!
Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.
How Weight Watchers friendly is this Slow Cooker Irish Stew recipe?
Weight Watchers’ new PersonalPoints plan calculates each individual’s Points allowance based on their unique food preferences and goals. This means we’re no longer able to offer exact WW points for our recipes.
The good news is that all of our recipes are still Weight Watchers friendly! If you have any questions about your Points budgets or you’re unsure how a certain recipe will fit into your plan, please reach out to Weight Watchers directly.
Do you need any special ingredients to make Slow Cooker Irish Stew?
We’ve used diced leg of lamb and it’s perfect for cooking low and slow until it’s super tender. We’ve also used pearl barley to add some extra fibre as well as thickening the stew up too.
You can find pearl barley with the grains and rice in the supermarket.
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A slow cooker is one of our kitchen essentials, and makes delicious stews and casseroles.
A small, sharp knife makes light work of cutting tough vegetables. Just mind your fingers!
Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
Add the lamb and garlic to the frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes to seal the lamb on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the potatoes, leeks, carrots, pearl barley, stock, thyme and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
Cover with the lid and turn the slow cooker on to the low setting. Cook for 4 1/2 – 5 hours, stirring once halfway through if possible. Remember not to keep lifting the lid , each time you do will add another 30 minutes onto the cooking time.
Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning before serving.
What could I serve with this Slow Cooker Irish Stew?
Serve a bowl on it’s own, or alongside one of our delicious side dishes!
How do you know when Slow Cooker Irish Stew is cooked?
The stew should be cooked until it has a thick and rich sauce and the lamb is fully cooked – this will take around 4 and a half to 5 hours. Be careful not to open the lid while it’s cooking: each time you do you’ll need to add another 30 minutes to the cooking time!
Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.
How long can you keep Slow Cooker Irish Stew in the fridge?
Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.
If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of Slow Cooker Irish Stew in the fridge for approximately 3 days or so.
Can I freeze Slow Cooker Irish Stew?
Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;
- Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
- Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.
Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!
How do I reheat Slow Cooker Irish Stew?
From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.
From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes until piping hot.
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Slow Cooker Irish Stew
5 HR 15
- KCals 546
- Carbs 63G
- Spray a large frying pan with low calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onions and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes or until softened and golden brown. Transfer the onions to the slow cooker.
- Add the lamb and garlic to the frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 2 - 3 minutes to seal the lamb on all sides. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- Add the potatoes, leeks, carrots, pearl barley, stock, thyme and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine well.
- Cover with the lid and turn the slow cooker on to the low setting. Cook for 4 1/2 - 5 hours, stirring once halfway through if possible. Remember not to keep lifting the lid , each time you do will add another 30 minutes onto the cooking time.
- Remove the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning before serving.
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