I know my last post was about lamb. And really, I was ready to move on. There were beet latkes to make, thai meatballs, lime marinated chicken, but then, someone had to post a picture on Instagram of the most delicious looking lamb stew.
This person, who shall remain nameless (Erin), was sitting in the Brazen Head Pub in Ireland enjoying a Guinness and stew while the rest of us sweated it out on the most sweltering and sticky day in Cranford, NJ of the year 2017.
So, after receiving my weekly CSA which included spring onions, and realizing I still had some turnips and carrots from the prior week in my fridge, I decided to make a lamb stew with the lamb I had lovingly placed in Erin's freezer weeks ago.
So, I went to Erin's house to "water her plants and feed her fish," (or "get my stuff out of her freezer and steal a coke zero"), and retrieved my frozen goodies. A day later, voila!
This was so delicious. I turned the air conditioner on full blast, poured myself a Guinness (sadly, out of a can), and transported myself to Ireland. It wasn't totally authentic, but it'll do in a pinch.
Spring Lamb Stew with Roasted Potatoes:
- 5 large or 8 small red or yellow skinned potatoes, sliced into small wedges.
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 1 lb lamb stew meat or shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 1 bunch spring onions, separated from green tops, or 1 large yellow onion
- 6 garlic cloves
- various vegetables including, but not limited to, carrots, turnips, peas, rutabaga, potatoes, jerusalem artichoke, english peas
- Handful of thyme, leaves separated from stems and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Guinness beer
- 1 quart beef or lamb stock
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place sliced potato wedges on sheet pan. Dry with paper or kitchen towel. Pour 1 Tbs. oil on wedges, then sprinkle on salt and pepper. Toss with hands until oil evenly coats wedges. Lay wedges on pan so one cut side is in contact with the sheet pan. Place in oven. Allow to cook for 15 minutes. Then, remove from oven, turn potatoes so other cut side is in contact with the sheet pan. Return to oven for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut lamb into pieces and dry thoroughly with kitchen or paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat canola oil in dutch oven or other large oven safe pot. Once hot, place half of lamb pieces into pan, making sure to sear rather than cook the lamb. (if you notice bubbles surrounding the meat and no dark sear on the meat, then remove some lamb and add back after searing meat in pan). Sear meat in batches, removing to a plate as meat is seared and finished.
- Once all meat is seared, remove meat from pot and add onions, stirring to coat in dark pan drippings and oil. After a few minutes, add in chopped garlic, stirring. After 1 minute, add beer, thyme, and bay. Allow to boil and continue to scrape any dark drippings left in pot. Once boiling and reduced a bit (about 5 minutes), add back in lamb. Add all vegetables to pot with stock. Cover with lid and once boiling place in oven. ** Potatoes should be removed from oven at this point and oven temperature reduced to 350 degrees.
- Allow to cook in oven for 45-60 minutes, until lamb is tender. Remove from oven. Spoon into bowls and top with chopped parsley. Serve with potato wedges on the side and sourdough bread and a Guinness if you are lucky. But honestly, it would be delicious accompanied by nothing more than a glass of tap water.