There's nothing like a great stew to satisfy and warm you from the inside. Here's a heavenly lamb stew with extremely tender lamb, loads of fresh veggies, and rich savory flavors. It's a whole dinner in one pot that's worthy of any occasion.
St. Patrick's Day is a few weeks away and so is spring. I'm excited for both. I'm all for celebrating every possible occasion and St. Patrick's Day is a particularly delicious food holiday, with corned beef and cabbage, corned beef hash, shepherd's pie and Irish stew.
In honor of St Patrick's Day and the coming of spring, here's a delicious recipe for lamb stew with spring vegetables.
There isn't a definitive modern day Irish stew recipe. (I'd love to know if you disagree) Way back when, before the potato famine, Irish Stew - ballymaloe - was a peasant dish composed of the most simple, cheap and readily available ingredients: mutton (older, tougher sheep meat), root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, parsnips), parsley and water. Today there are endless variations - some with lamb, some with beef. Potatoes can be cooked with the meat or mashed and served on the side. Some versions include wine, others contain Guinness stout.
I experimented quite a bit and ended up with this lamb stew recipe that achieves everything I want lamb stew to be: extremely tender lamb in a rich savory sauce with potatoes bright fresh spring vegetables.
How to make the best lamb stew
If you flour and brown the lamb and then simmer it slowly, adding the vegetables later in the cooking process, you'll end up with the most incredibly tender lamb and perfectly cooked veggies.
- Cut the lamb into bite-sized pieces, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it with flour. Shake the cubes of lamb in a colander to remove the excess flour. Brown the lamb in batches and transfer it to a stew pot.
- Sauté onions in a skillet until lightly browned and add them to the stew pot. Add Guinness or Vermouth to the skillet and deglaze it, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits of meat and onion. Pour the liquid into the stew pot and add the garlic, tomato paste, chicken broth, and fresh rosemary. Cover the pot and gently simmer the stew for an hour.
- While the stew is simmering, blanch the green beans for about 3 minutes, until they're bright green and slightly tender. Shock them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Blanching the green beans is an extra step but it’s so worthwhile. The beans are bright green and cooked to perfection and are then added to the stew at the end.
- When the stew has simmered for an hour, bury the carrots and potatoes in the stew and simmer it for 25-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the blanched green beans and the peas. Cover and cook for 5 minutes longer. Serve hot.
What is the best cut of lamb for lamb stew?
- Almost any cut of lamb will work for stew but lamb shoulder is my favorite. It's nicely marbleized and gets extremely tender when braised low and slow.
- I prefer to buy a large piece of lamb and do all the trimming and slicing myself. I enjoy finding pathways along the bones, slicing off the fat, and cutting the cubes just the way I want them. But if butchering isn't your thing, look for precut lamb stew meat at the grocery store.
- If you do buy lamb on the bone, cook the bones in with the stew for added flavor. Don't worry about cutting off all the meat, it will fall off the bones as the stew cooks and the meat tenderizes.
Is lamb stew better with wine or beer?
I wondered about this so I cooked two identical pots of this stew with only one variable - I used dry white wine for one batch and Guinness stout for the other. There were subtle differences in flavor. The stew made with wine had a more French flavor. In the end, both pots of stew were excellent. I suggest you use Guinness if you're making Irish stew for St. Patrick's Day. Otherwise, choose wine or beer, whichever you prefer or what you have on hand.
If you'd like to serve a salad on the side with your lamb stew, I recommend this citrusy butter lettuce salad.
You might also like:
- Georgian Lamb Stew
- Indian Spiced Lamb Meatballs with Ratatouille
- Indian Lamb Biryani
- Plov: Lamb Pilaf from Uzbekistan
It's been a particularly cold winter here in New England and, though I'm excited for spring, I also feel the need to grab onto the last weeks of winter and cook up some cozy comforting stews while there's still snow on the ground.
Here's the recipe for Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables. If you try this recipe, I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and comment. I'd love to know what you think.Print
Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables
A wonderful lamb stew for any occasion.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 45 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours 15 mins
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Main Course one-pot-wonder
- Method: stovetop
- Cuisine: Irish
- 4 pounds lamb shoulder chops with bone or 2 ⅓ pounds boneless lamb stew meat, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch pieces. Meat that clings to the bones is fine - it will come off easily after cooking.
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- Olive oil or other cooking oil
- 1 large onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup Guinness Stout or dry Vermouth (based on your preference)
- 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cups low salt chicken broth, divided
- A 6-inch sprig of fresh rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 8 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal into wedges
- 5 boiling potatoes - yukon golds or white potatoes (2-2 ½ pounds) cut into wedges (set aside in a bowl of cold water to prevent browning)
- 1 ¼ pounds green beans, trimmed
- 1 cup frozen green peas, defrosted
- Brown meat Pat the meat dry. Spread it onto a wax paper-lined baking pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat. Shake off excess flour by tossing meat in a mesh colander or strainer before browning. Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in a large skillet until hot. Brown lamb on all sides in two or three batches, 3-4 minutes per batch, adding more oil if necessary. Transfer browned lamb to a large stew pot or Dutch oven.
- Assemble Stew Add onions to the skillet and sauté, stirring, for a few minutes, until lightly browned. Add them to the stew pot. Pour the Guinness or Vermouth into the skillet and deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon to get off any browned bits of meat or onion. Pour the liquid into the stew pot along with the garlic, tomato paste, 3 cups of chicken broth, and rosemary. (ingredients should just barely be covered with liquid) Bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour.
- Blanch Green Beans Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Drop the beans in and cover to help bring the water back to boil quickly. Remove the cover and boil beans for about 3 minutes, until just crisp tender. Drain and plunge beans quickly into a big bowl of ice water to keep them crisp and green.
- Finish the Stew Remove bones (if using) and degrease cooking liquid by letting the fat rise to the surface for a few minutes and skimming it with a spoon or by cooling the stew in the fridge for several hours or overnight, and scraping the fat off the top. Stew can be made ahead to this point and stored in the fridge for up to two days.
- Bring stew back to a simmer before continuing. Season broth with salt and pepper, to taste. Bury carrots and potatoes in the stew, adding 1 extra cup of broth if necessary. Bring to a boil. Quickly lower to a simmer. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Drain beans and bury them in the stew along with the peas. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, until beans and peas are hot. Correct seasoning. Enjoy!
Keywords: Lamb stew with vegetables and potatoes, lamb and vegetable stew