Irish Lamb Stew
You don't want to save this stew for St. Patrick's Day. There are too many awesome things about it to hold it for a special occasion. Or maybe pull it out for more special occasions - because it's delicious. Rich, hearty and filling, the flavors in this stew just make you want to close your eyes and savor every bite.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind with this stew though. It actually is better after a day or two - so put it together ahead of time and it just gets better and better. If you want, you can certainly prepare it in a slow cooker. Assemble it up to right before you add the vegetables, allow it to cook on low all day, and at the end of the day, add the vegetables and give it another hour on high. Other wise the veggies will become mushy.
If you'd like you can substitue the white wine for either red wine or Guiness. I just happen to like the white wine with the lamb. And of course you'll want to serve it with some fresh buttered Irish Soda Bread!
- 1 pound thick sliced bacon diced
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless leg of lamb, well trimmed and cut into one inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 4 medium carrots, diced
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 3/4 cup white wine
- Over medium heat, in a large Dutch oven, cook bacon until brown and crispy. Drain and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, salt and pepper. Add lamb pieces, and coat evenly. Working in batches, brown lamb pieces in bacon fat. Don't add too much to the pan at once - or they'll steam instead of brown. Be patient and add no more than a single layer at once, making sure the pieces don't touch. As they brown, remove the brown pieces from pan and set them aside. Once finished with all pieces, drain any excess fat.There probably won't be any.
- Add onion and garlic to the pan and cook until onion turns golden. Deglaze pot with water, and add bacon, beef stock, sugar and browned lamb pieces to the onions and garlic.
- Bring pot to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Add remaining ingredients to the pot, cover and simmer for half an hour, or until vegetables are tender. Taste, and adjust for salt and pepper.
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