Slow Cooker Lamb Stew is a hearty family dinner that pretty much cooks itself! Throw it all into the crockpot, then set and forget your dinner. Packed with vegetables, tender lamb meat and a thick and rich tomato flavoured broth, this is comfort food at its finest. This crockpot lamb stew will bring a lovely aroma, heartfelt joy and slurp worthy yum to the table, it is an all around winner!
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Family favourite: this is a hearty dish that everyone from little ones to adults will love. There is a lot of flavour but no spice or heat and as such it is rich and delicious.
- Perfect for winter: in the cooler months you want food that warms you from the belly out. This is the perfect recipe to do that as it is wholesome, nourishing and comforting.
- Freezer friendly: this flavorful lamb stew is perfect to whip up a big batch of, let cool then portion into containers for later use. It freezes and reheats exceptionally well.
- Tastes even better the next day: as much as the stew gets cooked for a period of between 4 to 8 hrs and flavour is imparted during that time, it is often the case the next day bowl of leftovers tastes even better than the 1st day! No soggy or wilting vegetables here, rather thick, chunky and robust pickings that are suited to slow cooking.
- Back to basics: this is the type of cooking that your Mum would have done growing up. Basic meat and vegetable combo without a lot of spice or fan fare. The perfect meal for cooler weather. A pretty straight forward and easy slow cooked lamb casserole with no bells and whistles. But, my friend there is a whole lot of yum in every mouthful 🥰!
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Lamb: you can purchase diced lamb, lamb shoulder or leg of lamb and dice it yourself. Or head to your local butcher and lamb shanks or lamb cuts that work well in slow cooker meals. See my tasty tips for a budget friendly suggestion.
- Chicken stock: there is plenty of variety with this ingredient both in price and flavour. There are also lots of low sodium (reduced salt) stocks available which you can opt for.
- Potatoes: no need to peel or rinse. These get chopped into chunky pieces that will melt in your mouth later on. Baby potatoes or russet potatoes are both great options.
- Carrots: we do peel these then roughly chop into pieces the size you want to eat.
- Mushrooms: either store bought pre sliced or mushroom cups that you slice yourself will be perfect.
- Capsicum (bell pepper): seeds removed and chopped into pieces.
- Diced tomatoes: try and get a version that comes with no additional herbs or salt.
- Tomato paste: thick and rich in flavour, only a small amount adds a lovely depth of flavor to the dish.
- Plain flour: used to thicken the stew.
- Salt and pepper: a little of each to season the meat as it cooks.
- Bay leaves: these are used to flavour the dish as it cooks and get removed before serving.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by prepping all of the vegetables and then browning the meat on the stove in a large skillet or sauté pan. If your crock pot allows you to sear meats, you can use that option instead.
- Add oil, lamb, salt and pepper to pan and brown (Photo 1)
- Remove lamb then add onion and fry off (Photo 2)
- Add raw vegetables to the slow cooker (Photo 3)
- Then add stock, tomatoes and sauces (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
To make the stew, start by adding the oil, diced lamb, salt and pepper to a sauté pan and frying for 3 to 5 mins till the edges are golden brown. Then remove this from the pan and without rinsing or cleaning the pan, add the onion and fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
Next add the chopped potatoes, carrots, capsicum and sliced mushrooms to the slow cooker. Pour the chicken stock into the bowl, followed by the diced tomatoes, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce.
- Add the flour and browned lamb (Photo 5)
- Then add the onions (Photo 6)
- Stir to combine (Photo 7)
- Place the bay leaves on top (Photo 8)
Next add the flour, browned lamb and sautéed onions, use a wooden spoon to stir everything together. Once combined place the 2 bay leaves in the centre of the dish and the lid on.
- Cook the stew for 4 hrs on high or 8 hrs on low (Photo 9)
You have 2 cook times available for the recipe. The 1st is 4 hours on high heat or you can use low heat for 8 hours. Both cook times will deliver delicious results and the only difference is how much time you have or want the dish to be cooking for. Some people might insist that cooking on low for longer will result in more soft, tender meat, but I think it is a case of 'pretty very much the same, without noticing a huge taste but yes time difference'.
Once the dish is cooked, you can remove the lid, place it on a heatproof surface, discard the bay leaves and then use a ladle to portion into bowls.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
As there are so many potatoes in the stew, it is unlikely that you will need or want a potato side. However the fresh bread of dunking is both enjoyable as well as helps to sop up a lot of the juicy liquid.
A sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley as well as cracked black pepper are a great way to garnish the dish for serving 😁.
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the stew in sealed, air tight containers in the fridge. They will last for 3 days. Reheat prior to consuming.
How to Freeze
Allow the leftovers to fully cool to room temperature before portioning into sealed, airtight containers. These can be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat
For refrigerated leftovers simply place covered in the microwave and reheat on high for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring around the 3 minute mark. For frozen leftovers, allow to thaw in the fridge overnight (up to 24 hours) and then use the above microwave method or for a large batch add to a sauce pan on the stove and heat at medium heat stirring occasionally until heated through (around 15 minutes).
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can add whole button or cap mushrooms instead of slicing them.
- Try sweet potato in place or in addition to the white washed potatoes.
- Switch out the red bell pepper and switch in green capsicum instead.
- Add a teaspoon of dried herbs such as oregano to the stew.
- Chicken stock or beef broth is fine to use, both will deliver delicious results.
- Zucchini is another vegetable you could try or switch in for one of the others.
- Cauliflower rice is a low carb pairing idea that you could try in place of the crusty bread.
- You can use beef stock in place of the chicken stock if you have only it or prefer to use this flavour.
- Fresh parsley is a great way to garnish the dish and adds a pop of color on the Irish lamb stew.
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- If you have all of the vegetables prepped and ready before you brown the lamb, this will be easier as then you can simply add them to the crockpot. You won't have to stop and peel or slice anything.
- You can reduce the cost of the recipe by reducing the meat quantity and instead adding more vegetables. An example would be to reduce the quantity of lamb to half specified and add a cup of chopped peeled sweet potato instead.
- Unless you are using the slurry technique at the end to thicken the stew, try and not remove the lid during the cooking time. Doing so quickly reduces built up heat in the slow cooker and increases how long the dish has to cook for.
- The recipe will work well for both low and slow (8 hours) or high heat cooking (4 hours). So you can match it to your schedule.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to sear lamb before slow cooking?
Whilst it is not essential to sear lamb before slow cooking, it is recommended as a means to lock in flavour to the meat. A quick brown on the stove in a little oil is all that is needed, however, if time does not permit, this step can be skipped.
What liquid goes in stew?
It is common to add stock or broth to stews as well as Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato paste.
What can I add to stew to make it tasty?
A good stew is loaded with chunky vegetables, tender, succulent meat and a thick and rich soup base. You can also add salt and pepper to help season the dish as well as freshly diced parsley to season.
How do you thicken lamb stew?
There are 2 popular ways to thicken lamb stew. The 1st is to add flour to the browned lamb and sautéed onions. The 2nd is to remove a small amount of liquid from the slow cooker in the last 30 mins of the cook time, whisk the flour into this to create a slurry and then add that back into the crockpot for the final 30 mins of cooking.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
If you are looking for hearty, wholesome dinners that get the mouths full and the bellies fed, I have some more options that you might like to try. Each of the following recipes are fuss free, effortless and cooking styles that gets dinner done right:
- Lamb Osso Bucco
- Spaghetti Alla Bolognese
- Beef Udon Noodles (Ginger Beef Noodles)
- Slow Cooker Mushroom Soup
- Dutch Oven Pulled Pork
- Chicken Mince Stir Fry
- Slow Cooker Pumpkin Soup
- Baked Pasta Bolognese
- Turkey Mince Bolognese
- Pork Bolognese
You can also find all of my dinner recipes in the one spot. It is time to stew my friend 😁.
Slow Cooker Lamb Stew
- 1 Knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 Sauté pan
- 1 Silicone flexible turner to cook the lamb and sauté the onions
- 1 Slow Cooker
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 kg grams/ 2 pounds lamb meat diced into chunky pieces, Note 1
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 1 cup diced onion approx 1 medium onion
- 6 potatoes medium to large size, not peeled, sliced into chunky pieces, Note 2
- 2 carrots peeled and chopped into chunky pieces
- 1 red capsicum seeded and roughly chopped into pieces
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 litre/ 4 cups/ 32 oz litre chicken stock
- 400 grams/ 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes Note 3
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Note 4
- ¼ cup plain flour Note 5
- 2 bay leaves dried, remove before serving
- Brown the lamb: add the oil, diced lamb, salt and pepper to a large sauté pan. Sear at high heat for 3 to 5 minutes to brown the edges. Then remove from pan.
- Sauté the onions: without rinsing or cleaning the pan add the diced onion and fry of for 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove from heat and set aside.
- Vegetables: starting with the potatoes add the vegetables to the slow cooker. In layers place the chopped potatoes, carrots, capsicum and sliced mushrooms.
- Liquids: add the chicken stock, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste.
- Flour, meat and onions: next add the plain flour, browned lamb and sautéed onions to the slow cooker. Take a wooden spoon and stir till all ingredients have combined.
- Cook: place the 2 bay leaves on top of the combined stew, pop the lid on the slow cooker and turn the setting to low (cook for 8 hours) or high (cook for 4 hours).
- Serve and enjoy: once cooked, remove the slow cooker lid, discard the bay leaves and turn the heat off. Use a ladle to portion the lamb stew into bowls, garnish with finely chopped parsley and cracked black pepper (optional). Provide fresh bread for dunking.
- Note 1 - Lamb: the recipe calls for 1 kilogram or 2 pounds of lamb. If you are looking to reduce the cost of the dish, you can cut the amount of meat in half and add 1 cup of peeled, cube sweet potatoes instead. It won't be as meaty, however, will reduce the overall cost of the recipe. If you are using a smaller sauté or fry pan, you may need to brown the lamb in 2 batches.
- Note 2 - Potatoes: for Australia use washed white potatoes, in the USA use Yukon gold or russet potatoes.
- Note 3 - Diced tomatoes: opt for a brand which has no additional herbs, salt or pepper. Plain is best. You can use crushed tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes, they have a slightly less chunky texture.
- Note 4 - Worcestershire sauce: this is a great ingredient used in stews and marinades to give a little oomph to the flavour of the dish. You will find it in the sauces aisle in the supermarket. Typically it is known as a condiment, not a sauce.
- Note 5 - Plain flour: we use this in the recipe to thicken the liquids. The recipe states to add it to the browned lamb and onions, stir to combine and cook the dish with it from the beginning. The 2nd option you have is to remove ⅓ cup of liquid from the stew 30 minutes before the end of the cook time, whisk the flour into it (this is called a slurry) and add that back to the slow cooker. Stir to combine it, then continue cooking for the final 30 minutes.