Food & Drink | March 17, 2021 7:37 am

Your St. Patrick’s Day Deserves This Guinness-Fortified Lamb Stew

Paired with Irish mashed potatoes in a Shepherd's pie, it's your best friend on a day filled with boozy celebration

A picture of Guinness stew
Guinness stew with mashed potatoes in a pie. What's not to love?
Courtesy of Guinness

You’re gonna want something hearty on St. Patrick’s Day to go with your Guinness and Irish whiskey. Yes, even if you’re drinking at home, which any other year might sound sad but is totally acceptable in 2021.

We’ve previously outlined the best way to pair your drinks and food on March 17th, particularly if you were going out on the town. “Irish pubs generally like to show off their traditional fare,” as Guinness Beer Specialist Aaron Ridgeway told us a few years back. “This includes dishes like shepherd’s pie, beef stew, oysters, coddle, bacon and cabbage, or boxty [an Irish potato pancake]. Guinness Draught is a beautiful beer to have with most of the dishes you’ll find in a traditional Irish bar, with flavors of roast and coffee, supported by a strong malty backbone and a sublime, smooth finish — it matches really well with the umami character and texture of a stew or pie.”

Even better? Put that Guinness in a stew or pie. We asked the brewery for their favorite take, and the team at Guinness gave us this delicious concoction, courtesy of chef/author Dennis Prescott. It’s a lamb stew and Irish mashed potatoes (colcannon) together in a Shepherd’s Pie. Pair responsibly with beer and whiskey, and enjoy.

Guinness Lamb Stew & Colcannon Shepherd’s Pie 

Recipe courtesy of Dennis Prescott
Makes 6 – 8 servings 

  • 3 lbs lamb shoulder, well-trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tbsps olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves 
  • 3 tbsps tomato paste
  • .25 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1.5 cups Guinness Draught
  • Zest of 1 lemon 
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen green peas


  • 5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds), peeled and roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 tbsps unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided
  • 1.25 cups milk
  • .5 cup heavy cream

Pat the lamb dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches as necessary, brown the lamb on all sides. Remove and set aside.

With the olive and brown bits still in the pan, add the onions, carrots, and celery, and season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the veggies are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the tomato paste and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add the lamb with its juices back to the pan and sprinkle with flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the Guinness, broth, and lemon zest. Using a wooden spoon, stir to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until the lamb is fall-apart perfection.

Add the peas and warm through, then taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. 

While the stew is simmering away, prepare the colcannon. Cover the potatoes with water in a stock pot and season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until easily pierced with a fork, 15 – 20 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, about 8–10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add the milk and cream and bring to a simmer.

Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.  Dollop or cover the stew with colcannon, creating your “shepherd’s pie”. Top with a hit of cracked pepper, then transfer to the oven. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until the top of the colcannon has started to brown. Serve immediately.