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This Instant Pot Irish Stew is a favourite for midweek winter dinners, when nothing but a bowl of hot stew, served with crusty bread on the side, of course, will comfort you from the cold.
I love nothing more than having a pot of stew gently bubbling away on the stove, filling the house with delicious aromas, especially when I'm pottering around the kitchen on a lazy Sunday afternoon. But quite often, I'm craving this stew when I don't have the time to spare, and in comes the Instant Pot recipe to the rescue!
Original recipes for Irish Stew were traditionally made using lamb/mutton or kid goat, along with potatoes. This Instant Pot Irish Stew is made using lamb neck fillet, a cheaper cut that is great for stews and curries, and includes more vegetables, as well as pearl barley, to bulk it out. I do love the flavour of lamb, but some might find it a bit strong, so the additional vegetables also help to balance the flavour.
You might already know that I love my Instant Pot recipes, as I can easily fit them around my afternoon schedule (usually involving collecting the children from one place or another!) and still get the meal on the table in time for dinner. With this Instant Pot Irish Stew, you could easily prepare the meat and vegetables in advance, pop it into the Instant Pot to cook whilst you're out, and leaving it to keep warm until you're ready to serve it. It couldn't be easier!
There are many different versions of Irish Stew out there, but they all invariably contain potatoes (well, it's Irish, after all!). Many will use carrots, which I also love to add, as they add a nice pop of colour, and turnips are also a common root vegetable to include. Fewer recipes will include pearl barley, but I like the texture they introduce to the stew.
For this recipe, I actually used Chinese pearl barley (also known as Job's tears), as I happened to have a lot of it on hand. But feel free to use pearl barley that you find in your local shop, or even ordinary barley - it will still add a nice varied texture to your stew. Serve with crusty bread for a tasty, warm and comforting meal.
Here's what you'll need to make this Instant Pot Irish Stew:
(Click here to jump straight to the recipe)
Oil for cooking
1kg lamb neck fillet, cut into chunks
Small bunch of fresh thyme
250g onions, chopped
450g carrots, cubed
600g potatoes, cubed
500ml lamb (or beef) stock
85g pearl barley
1 large leek, sliced
2 bay leaves
1-2tsp cornflour (optional)
And here's what you'll need to do:
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