Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lamb and Guinness Stew

It's the day after St Patrick's Day, but if you're still feeling a touch Irish, I have a delicious remedy for you!

Lamb and Guinness Stew!

This meal was on the menu for us this St. Patrick's day. Not only to celebrate, but also because Kris is fighting a cold, so I thought something hearty would help a bit.

Stew is one of those perfect meals for when you're sick, the cold weather, lazy Sundays, or to make ahead of time and freeze! For us this recipe meant a good helping for both dinner and lunch, and then that amount again put in the freezer for when we're looking for an easy "reheat" kind of dinner.

It's a tad time consuming, but very easy to make and even easier to enjoy!

Lamb and Guinness Stew (Serves 8)

  • 3 1/2 - 4 lbs of lamb (or beef if you prefer) cut into roughly 1 1/2 inch pieces
    • Note: Don't cut all of the fat off, otherwise the meat will dry out, just cut off the harder, more obvious pieces.
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of Guinness
  • 1 cup red wine (I used a Pinot Noir, but you may want something heavier)
  • 2 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp (plus a bit extra) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1) In a large pot on the stove, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium-high heat. Salt your lamb chunks with 1 tsp of salt, then add to the pot and stir, browning the outside of the meat. You want to try and sear the meat closed. When this is done, reduce to a simmer

2) Add your garlic and sauté for approx 1 minute. Then add your beef stock, water, Guinness wine, tomato paste, sugar, thyme, rosemary, Worcestershire sauce and bay leaves. Stir well then cover, reducing heat to lowest level. Let sit 1 hour.

While your meat is cooking in the broth mixture, prepare your potatoes, carrots and onions. 

3) When you've got only about 15 minutes left on your time, heat remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in large frying pan over medium high heat. Add your carrots and onions and sauté until onions begin to soften and brown.

4) When your veggies are ready, add the carrots and onions from the pan, as well as the potatoes, to the stew pot. Increase heat to low-medium and bring to a simmer, stirring. When the stew is on a low simmer, let sit for another 30-40 minutes, or until vegetables and meat are cooked and soft.

Before serving, you may want to make a mixture of 2 tbsp corn starch, 6 tbsp (very) cold water and add to simmering stew, to thicken the broth. Make sure cornstarch is completely mixed into the water before you add to the broth or you'll get flakes/clumps.

Also, lamb can be very fatty, so you may want to spoon some of the fat off the top of your stew. There are lots of ways to do this, I personally use one of these!

That's it! Spoon your stew in to bowls (it will be hot) and serve with a side of fresh warm bread for dipping! And of course, the leftover Guinness and Wine (you only used a cup of each after all!)

This hearty stew is sure to be a favourite of yours! It's a big recipe, but stews always taste better the next day, or re heated from frozen, so I would advise you take advantage of that, rather than halving the recipe!

Bon Appétit!