Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

5 stars based on 1 votes

guinness-lamb-stew

Admittedly, I don’t do much to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (other than trying to remember to dress my kids in something green) but I do love the food. To that end, I’ve got two Irish recipes for you this week. First up is this hearty lamb stew with vegetables. The lamb is seared and then braised in a flavorful Guinness-spiked broth until it almost falls apart, and the vegetables are added at just the right time so they don’t get mushy. If you like my Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes, you’ll love this recipe too.

Begin by selecting the right cut of meat, which is lamb shoulder. Locally, I found it at Whole Foods but it was whole so I had to ask the butcher to cut it up for me. Be sure not to buy leg of lamb — it’s best for roasting or grilling, and won’t get tender in a stew. Have your butcher trim as much of the excess fat off the meat as possible, or you can do it yourself when you get home. You can see some of the excess fat in the photo below where the yellow arrow is. Simply loosen those little flaps of fat with a knife and they pull right off.

Season the meat with salt and pepper and then brown it in batches in a large pot or Dutch oven.

Be sure the oil is very hot and don’t crowd the pan or the meat won’t sear properly. This step is a bit time consuming but important because it caramelizes the surface of the meat and adds wonderful depth of flavor to the stew.

Set the meat aside, then add the onions and garlic to the pot, along with a few tablespoons of water to loosen the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.

Add the lamb back to the pot and sprinkle it with flour, which will thicken the broth as it cooks.

Cook and stir for for a few minutes until the flour dissolves.

Add the braising liquid, which is simply beef stock, Guinness, water and herbs.

Bring the broth to a boil, then cover and simmer for about an hour and twenty minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes and continue cooking until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked, about 30 minutes more. Be sure to stir it a few times so the vegetables don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

As you can see below, the broth thickens up nicely as it continues to cook. Right before serving, stir in the frozen green peas. They’ll defrost and cook right in the stew.

You can definitely make this stew a day or two ahead, as the flavor only improves. Just note that the broth thickens up quite a bit in the fridge so you may need to add some water to thin it out.

Finally, just had to include this photo of my sweet lab, Miles. If the light is right, sometimes I photograph my dishes outside and he’s always right alongside hoping for a taste. Of course he always gets one…I can’t resist that face!

 

Guinness Lamb Stew with Vegetables

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2-1/2 - 3 pounds lamb shoulder, well-trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Guinness
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 2 cups water, plus 2 tablespoons more for cooking onions and garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks on diagonal
  • 1 pound small white boiling potatoes (baby yukons), cut in half
  • 1 cup frozen green peas

Instructions

  1. Pat the lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat one tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Brown the lamb in three batches, adding one more tablespoon of oil for each batch. Do not crowd the pan and let the meat develop a brown crust before turning with tongs. It should take 5-8 minutes per batch. Transfer the browned meat to large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons of water to the pot. Cook until the onions are soft, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of pan, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes more.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the Guinness, beef broth, water, bay leaf, rosemary sprig and sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pot with a lid, turn the heat down to low and simmer for one hour and twenty minutes.
  6. Add the carrots and potatoes to the stew, then cover and continue simmering until the vegetables are cooked and the meat is very tender, 30-40 minutes. (Be sure to stir a few times to prevent vegetables from sticking to bottom.)
  7. Remove the bay leaf and rosemary sprig, and then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If serving right away, add the frozen peas and cook until the peas are warmed through. Otherwise, let the stew cool, then cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Reheat gently on the stovetop and add the peas right before serving.
  8. Note: This stew can be made a day or two ahead of time and reheated gently on the stovetop. Just be sure to add the peas right before serving so they stay fresh. Also, the broth will thicken in the fridge so it may be necessary to thin it with a bit of water (add it little by little).

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Wow. My first time making lamb stew and it came out So amazing. I’m done looking for other recipes!

    - miss gala on August 22, 2014 Reply
  • I’m in the process of making the stew now but I’m not exactly following your recipe; I’m just here for ideas. I don’t get why you’re against a bone in leg. Rotisseried a leg for easter this past Sunday and I made a stock from the bone and leavings and it tastes phenomenal. I’d rather have lamb stock than beef stock as it adds something that beef stock can’t. Granted this is just a way for me to utilize the leftovers, but nothing beats good old bone marrow while preparing stock. Thank you!

    - Mr Smooth on April 22, 2014 Reply
  • Yum! Was better than my moms! Love the photos too.

    - Lisa Kroll on November 7, 2013 Reply
  • The Guinness and Lamb Stew was delicious. Reminded us of Ireland.

    - Kathleen French-Wilson on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • This is one of our favorites. I have been a follower of your blog post for two – three years now and love every recipe I’ve tried!

    - Melissa Lee on March 9, 2013 Reply
  • Fantastic! I used a belgian style ale. Other than that, I followed the recipe to a T. The family could not stop raving about how delicious this was, and the lamb was incredibly tender. Thank you for a great recipe.

    - Leilani on February 10, 2013 Reply
  • Made this last night and served it tonight. Delish! Cleaned out the pot. The lamb was incredibly tender. Will make this again!

    - Leah on December 22, 2012 Reply
  • Yet another winner!! :)

    - Kelly W. on October 22, 2012 Reply
  • This was a great dish. Very rich tasting. Everyone came back for seconds.

    - Gayle Snyder on May 18, 2012 Reply
  • made this recipe “college edition”. So beef instead of lamb and pabst blue ribbon instead of guinness. Still amazing!

    - Arnold on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • This is great. I have made it several times.

    - Sarah on May 15, 2012 Reply
  • This looks great!!

    - Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on March 15, 2012 Reply
  • I somehow forgot the main ingredient. The Guinness. But I made the stew anyway and it was a-m-a-z-i-n-g.
    Made my day. So Miles gets the lost beer. What a sweet fact he has.

    - Niya Sisk on March 15, 2012 Reply
    • Too funny, Niya! I’m glad to know the recipe is very forgiving!

      - Jenn on March 15, 2012 Reply
  • Jen,

    How about a corn beef and cabbage recipe for Saturday?

    - Keith on March 14, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Keith! Make this – it’s so much better :)

      - Jenn on March 15, 2012 Reply
  • Is this something that can be adapted to be made in the slow cooker?

    - Daryl Ellen on March 14, 2012 Reply
    • Hi Daryl, I think a slow cooker would work fine.

      - Jenn on March 14, 2012 Reply
      • I think a slow cooker would work fine, Just be sure to brown the meat first.

        - Bonnie Collier on January 12, 2013 Reply
  • This looks wonderful! Great pics too, especially the one with Miles. Talk about self-restraint! My dogs would never be able to do that!

    - Marcia on March 14, 2012 Reply
  • I love Lamb, grew up on it. This looks like a wonderful stew & being that we are still having quite chilly weather I think I’ll make it soon.
    Thanks for sending it to us.

    - Gail Rush on March 14, 2012 Reply
  • We are cut from the same cloth…taking the pic with Miles is something I would totally do. Cant wait to make this saturday for the family! as always, thanks for sharing.

    - darlaBE on March 14, 2012 Reply
  • YUM YUM YUM!!! (I had the honor of tasting this, made by the chef herself, and it is TO DIE FOR!) with all of your great step by step photos, I should be able to replicate this at home. Love seeing Miles!!

    - Beth on March 14, 2012 Reply
  • This looks absolutely delicious! And what a perfect dish for St. Patty’s (although it feels more like spring/summer where I am, and making stew right now seems a bit odd).

    Thanks for sharing the photo of your dog! He looks so well behaved with that delicious bowl of stew sitting right next to him. I adore labs, such sweethearts.

    - Cynthia on March 14, 2012 Reply
    • Thanks Cynthia, He has his crazy moments (he’s a lab after all!) but most the time he’s an angel.

      - Jenn on March 14, 2012 Reply

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