Guinness And Lamb Stew Recipe
Is there anything better on a cold winter’s day than a steaming pot of homemade lamb stew? It’s the perfect way to cook less pricey cuts of lamb. It’s slow-cooked to perfection and will fall apart in your mouth.
You are going to love this recipe. You’ll have to plan ahead because it takes about an hour or two to cook. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to be ready. In all fairness, that does become more difficult when those wonderful aromas waft through the house, but at least you know that everyone is going to be nice and ready to get a mouthful when it’s done.
What is Guinness?
For those that haven’t yet had the pleasure of tasting it for themselves, Guinness was developed in Ireland. It’s classified as a dry stout and is now brewed all over the world, but the Irish were the first to come up with this bit of deliciousness.
So, if you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, this stew is perfect. Oh, and if it’s St. Paddy’s Day, have a pint or two for yourself as well.
If you’re concerned about the alcohol content in the stew, don’t worry. The alcohol will cook out, leaving behind the rich taste of the Guinness without making you tipsy. Stout also contains a lot of nutrients, so you’re getting a lot of goodness by adding it in.
If you’re really not keen on using the Guinness, you can substitute it for a rich stock or lamb broth instead. If you decide to do this, also stir in a teaspoon of gravy powder to improve the flavor.
Why Leeks and Not Just Onions?
To be fair, if you can’t get leeks, you can use onions instead. Leeks have a somewhat milder flavor, though, and work better in this particular recipe. If it’s a toss-up between not having leeks in it, and not having the stew, skip the leeks.
You can also change up the veggies that you put in, based on what you have at home. Traditionally the stew features carrots and potatoes, but you could also add in some peas, parsnips, or just about any root vegetable that you want.
Can I Use a Crock Pot?
Sure, but the process will be slightly different. The advantage of using the crockpot is that you can get it started in the morning and come home to an awesome stew for supper.
To start with, you’ll want to use only 6 ounces of Guinness and 1 ½ cups of water. Aside from that, leave the ingredients as is.
To cook this meal in a Crock Pot, season the flour and brown the lamb, as called for in the original recipe. From there, follow the steps in the original recipe exactly, up until you bring everything to a boil. When that’s done, move everything to your crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.
If you need to save time in the morning, do all the prep the night before. You could even cook it up to the stage where it boils and then finish it up the next day.
If you don’t have a crock pot, you will need a heavy-bottomed saucepan. A Dutch oven would work really well here as well. If you’re worried about the stew catching at the bottom, or don’t want to keep checking on it, you can allow it to finish cooking in the oven.
If you want to do this, preheat the oven to 375° F. When the mixture has come to a boil, move it into an ovenproof container and let it cook slowly for an hour and a half to two hours or until the meat is tender.
A Dutch oven works well here, and you can use it on top of the stove or in the oven, so there are fewer dishes afterward. Watch to ensure that the liquid doesn’t boil dry during cooking, though.
What Cut of Lamb is Best?
It may be the luck of the Irish, but the least expensive stewing cuts are best for this recipe. Trim most of the visible fat off, but put everything else in. You can use stewing lamb with or without the bones as you prefer. By the time it’s cooked, it will easily flake off the bones anyway.
A more expensive piece of meat would be a waste here, so have fun with your frugal and hearty meal.
What to Serve with It?
You can serve the stew as is if you prefer. It is a complete meal on its own. That said, do consider having some fresh, crusty bread to sop up the gravy with. Alternatively, serve it with rice, dumplings, or mashed potatoes. You don’t need anything else.
What to Do with Leftovers?
With stews, the flavor always improves overnight, so if there are leftovers, they’ll be great the next day. We’d suggest making a double portion if your pot or crockpot is big enough. If you’re doubling it up, allow it to cool completely, skim off excess fat, and place in an airtight container or bag.
It will be okay in the refrigerator for up to three days and in the freezer for up to two months. If frozen, let it thaw completely before reheating it. Heat over medium heat until it is hot and bubbling.
If there is not quite enough to warrant freezing, the stew can be reheated and served up for an easy meal a little later in the week. The stew won’t taste good cold.
Tips and Tricks
- Stew has to be the busy parents best friend. It doesn’t take long at all to prep the ingredients. You have several options when it comes to cooking it. So put on the stove, in the oven, or in the slow cooker – whichever method suits you the best.
- You can sneak extra veggies in stews, and the kids will barely notice. Another option to change up the flavor and up the nutrient content is to grate up a tub of mushrooms. If you have picky eaters, they won’t even notice.
- If you find that the stew is too watery at the end, mix about a teaspoon or two of cornstarch in a little water so that it makes a paste. Stir this into the stew and let it cook for another ten minutes on the stove or in the oven. In the slow cooker, you can do this a half hour before it’s done.
- Don’t forget to raise a pint to Irish ingenuity while you’re enjoying your delicious meal.
All that’s left now is to eat and enjoy—rich, flavorful, and nutrient-dense lamb that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. It doesn’t get any better than this.