Hearty Irish Lager Stew Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Hearty Irish Lager Stew

Pale lager beer adds the mellow flavors of barley, hops, and malt to a rich vegetable stew. The secret ingredient is quick-cooking tapioca, which thickens the stew and gives it a glistening sheen.



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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
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8 oz. button or shiitake mushrooms, halved
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2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
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1 medium leek, white part only, diced (1 cup)
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3 small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)
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2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (2 cups)
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2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced (1 ½ cups)
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1 ½ tsp. tomato paste
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1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
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1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
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2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in bundle, plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
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½ cup lager beer
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1 ½ Tbs. quick-cooking tapioca
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1 cup shredded cabbage
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1 Tbs. white miso
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2 Tbs. chopped parsley


1. Heat 1/2 Tbs. oil in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil to pot. Add leek, and cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add lager, tapioca, and mushrooms. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Remove thyme sprigs, stir in cabbage and miso, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until cabbage softens. Stir in chopped thyme and parsley, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutrition Information: 

4 g
Total Fat: 
2 g
Saturated Fat: 
<1 g
23 g
0 mg
204 mg
5 g
5 g
Serves 8

Comments on this Recipe

Made this for the family tonight with rave reviews! My four year old ate it up.

I made this for lunch today and my husband suggested I make it regularly. Very tasty!

This is one of my favorite recipes! I love this dish.

Loved this dish! Hearty and delish - my husband even loved it and he's not a big veggie guy.

I made this and it was so yummy! I can't wait to make it again!

Very good! I used Dragonhead "Under the Kilt" Scottish ale for the lager and it was fabulous! I would double the recipe next time so I could freeze the extra stew!

Great recipe! I made a few adjustments such as barely instead of the tapioca, and the soup thickened up great. I also added a dash of cumin for some depth, and that worked great too. The whole family loved the soup and I am sure I will be making it again.

I was looking a new recipe for my weekend soup menu and have to say this is a very goood soup worthy of new favorite. However, the serving size says 8 when actually it is more like 4 small size bowls. I judged the 8 severing off the bowl in the picture, big mistake. Will have to double this recipe in the future for my hungry crowd.

Rich and complex taste, love the root vegetables, the cabbage and the miso. Lots of ingredients so not quick to prepare. Four of us almost finished the thing in one shot, so don't count on eight servings. Definitely will make again.

This turned out really awesome! I could not find any parsnips or white miso so I substituted sweet potatoe for parsnips and tahini for white miso. It was so good. I used Guiness Black Lager for the lager too (used whole bottle, we had been partaking of beverage for St Pattys Day)I'm new vegetarian trying very hard to be vegan where I know how and for the rest of my family who are meat eaters they really loved this stew too. I recommend this as a great starter stew that all people will like. I did serve eight but this wasn't the only dish. We also made mashed potatoes with leeks and cabbage and we had Irish soda bread and nine grain bread too.

This was great. I used both button and shiitake mushrooms - in the future I would not use the shiitake, as the stems were very tough to chew in the stew. But this, along with some hot bread, as just what I was looking for. Very filling, and very low cal!

More comfort food.

I always remove the stems -- I cook with shitake mushrooms a lot, and they're very good for you.

This is daft. What part of Ireland is known for *lager*? (Hint: lagers hail from central Europe, Germany and Czech Republic, a long way from Ireland!)

What is a good substitute for the lager? I don't drink beer of any type and don't want to go out and buy some for the sake of 1/2 cup. Thanks.

Replace the lager with guiness and you've got an Irish stew :-) yum

Ok, so this loosk yummy however, i'm uin Mexico and the "parnsips" (chiviria is what i got from the translator O.0) it's something i haven't heard in my entire life not even as a vegggie... any suggestions about what else i could use instead of? I mean, because of the taste and stuff. Thanks!

To Mayravillosa, Parsnips are related to carrots and shaped like carrots. Their color is almost white and they have a sort of sweet, earthy taste. If they aren't available, then you could probably just double the amount of carrot and potato and it should still taste really good. Or you could try a turnip or rutabaga and a sweet potato.

Love it

Made this tonight and it was delish. I substituted sweet potato for the parsnip as suggested by another person who reviewed the recipe, (good idea). Definitely will be making this again.

siobhan - the lager isn't the only part of this that isn't Irish. Personally, I wish people would stop adding an ethic title to meals simply to garner attention. Especially when they've no idea about the regional foods of that country. I mean, have you seen some of the recipes for Colcannon they have out there? Sad. It sounds like a very good stew but it's not Irish any more than Matzo Ball soup is Spanish. Drives me out of my tree but what can ya do? No one actually cares if they are trashing tradition so long as it sounds cool and maybe has one thing in it from whatever region they are trying to go for. Too bad really. Traditional Irish food is generally very simple. Lager isn't used at all. Guinness is a little different – for many years the Irish considered it to be not so much a drink or even a food but a whole food group all of its own! While it may not be traditional in cooking in the sense of going back centuries, it has been used for quite a long time in stews and as a marinade. But again, taking any old recipe and adding Guinness to the mix does not magically turn it into an Irish recipe.

I like this

This stew was very tasty! Perhaps people would lighten up if you called it "Irish-American" but it reminds me of my mom's beef stew (she is first generation American of Irish-born parents). I do think most Americans would refer to this as an Irish Stew, just like French Toast isn't from France. The parsnips add an authentic touch. I used Pabst Blue Ribbon (made by Germans in Milwaukee) since that is the beer we had and it worked out great.

I had to use baby Bella mushrooms and red miso and I used Stella Artois beer. The stew was delicious. It was so tasty in fact that the 'salt and pepper to taste' was not needed. All too often veggie stews can turn out bland, but not this one!I highly recommend it.

I made this tonight in Mexico for 11 people at a hostel. I used bohemia obscura as the lager &amp; mash potatoes as a base. Everyone ate everything on there plates. Thanks so much

Ah yeah I agree with earlier comments - shiitake and miso and tapioca flour does not render this dish Irish, but well, it seems tasty. So is it beer that makes it so, I guess ...

My husband and I really liked this. I omitted the beer and tapioca. It was delicious!

Been trying to com up with a really good vegetarian Irish stew for an annual church dinner for several years now and I finally scored with this one. I every drop was eaten while the traditional lamb stew had lots of leftovers. I did make a couple of changes. Not being a vegetarian myself, I bought "minute" tapioca (only thing I could find in the local grocery and found it had small tapioca pearls in it. After a bit of research I decided what this recipe was actually calling for was tapioca flour and available at the health food store. Not wanting to go out again, I whirred the tapioca into a fine flour in my bullet. Second was switching to Guinness and then I added barley to boost nutrition and another authentic Irish ingredient. I misread when to put the mushrooms back in and was afraid they would turn to mush but the baby Bella's held up. The leeks, however, vanished from sight so next time will briefly sautee them and take them out to add back I later or put them in last to the potato, carrot, parsnip mixture.

this looks really tasty, just a word of warning ,if you change to guinness it is not vegan.

Moreover, its rich in Vitamin C &amp; E which provide potent antioxidants that protect and repair your skin.