Crack open a Guinness, lay out the gold coins and dig into this hearty Irish stew with lamb and potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day.
This Irish stew with lamb, potatoes and a good glug of Guinness beer is just the thing for a St. Patrick’s Day feast!
Last year in my Asian Quesadilla with Hoisin Sauce post (a decidedly non-Irish dish), I told you about my youngest son’s (T) run-in with a wiley leprechaun. He darn near caught the emerald-clad little bugger. Just a minute earlier and we would have had him! This year, we’ll have to lay out a different kind of temptation, one that will make the little fellow linger longer.
The plan will start with a frothy Guinness beer in a frosted pint glass. No self-respecting leprechaun would dare let a pint of Guinness sit untouched. Maybe the beer will be just the thing to slow his reflexes, an edge that we’ll surely need in this cat and mouse game. But the plan doesn’t stop there. Oh no!
I think T will agree that a hearty Irish stew, one with tender lamb and chunks of potato and carrot simmered in Guinness and beef broth, will be just the thing to hold our inebriated little visitor’s attention long enough to complete the capture. If he cooperates and willingly returns any of T’s coins that he stuffed in his green britches, perhaps we’ll reward him with an Irish Cream Cheesecake Fudge Brownies.
Whether or not you have a leprechaun problem at your house, you might be tempted to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day with something other than off-colored lager, which I always find to be a rather disconcerting practice. Instead, treat your fellow revelers to a classic stew with flavors that just can’t be beat.
Irish Stew with Lamb, Potatoes and Guinness Beer
- 3 pounds leg of lamb fat trimmed, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour divided
- 4 tablespoons canola oil divided
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 1/4 cups + 3 tbsp beef broth divided
- 1 1/4 cups Guinness beer
- 4 large carrots peeled & cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 1/4 pounds red-skinned potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and pepper to toaste
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then toss it with 1/3 cup of the all-purpose flour.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the lamb pieces and cook until the lamb is browned on all sides. Transfer the lamb to a bowl. Repeat in two more batches with 2 tablespoons canola oil and the remaining lamb. There will be browned bits on the bottom of the saucepan. Don't get rid of them, as they will add flavor later.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the saucepan, then add the onion and thyme. Cook until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add the lamb, 2-1/4 cups beef broth and the Guinness beer to the onions. Bring to a boil, then heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lamb is very tender, 1 to 1-1/4 hours. While the lamb is cooking, stir the stew occasionally, using a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the saucepan so that they are incorporated into the gravy.
- Add the potatoes and carrots to the stew and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and 3 tablespoons of beef broth. Add this mixture to the stew and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the stew is thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley. Serve.
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