You will find lots of recipes for Irish stew this time of the year. This is the one I've used for more years than I care to remember. I actually think it was a really old one from Gourmet Magazine. Heaven only knows what I've changed, maybe nothing.
Remember the Irish were a very poor people for a lot of years and meat was something usually reserved for special meals. A traditional stews didn't have a lot of fancy stuff added.
Traditional Irish Stew
about 8 servings
3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
6 cups chicken broth or stock
3 pounds boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 stalks celery, trimmed and ribs cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup vegetable oil
In a 7 to 8-quart kettle simmer lamb, parsley, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste in 4 cups broth, covered, 1 1/2-hours. To lamb mixture add potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and remaining 2 cups broth and simmer, covered 1 hour.
In a small bowl whisk together flour and oil until smooth and stir into simmering stew until well incorporated. Simmer stew, uncovered, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes, and season with salt and pepper.