Lamb Stew – Our Easter Tradition

Lamb StewEvery year for the last 3-4 years, we have had an absolutely delicious lamb stew for Easter dinner.  This is definitely not a “quick meal” or even a weeknight dinner but there are some things that you can do ahead of time to reduce the amount of work that you have on the day you are serving it.  This recipe freezes relatively well for short periods of time (more than a couple of weeks and the potatoes get mushy).
Prep: 20 minutes   Cook: 120 minutes   Total Time: 140 minutes
Needed Equipment: Dutch oven, saucepan
Makes 12 servings
STARTING PREPARATION:
  • Thaw lamb (in the fridge overnight, in a sink of cold water for a couple of hours, or in the microwave).
  • Cube leg of lamb meat and finely dice the fat (you will have some meat mixed in with the fat, which is fine).

 

Lamb Broth (optional):

  • Bone from leg of lamb
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 celery rib, halved
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
1.Place all the ingredients in the saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours.  Makes 5-6 cups broth (you can freeze the remainder for at least 6 months).

Lamb Stew:

  • 3-4 lb leg of lamb
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped and divided
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 2 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 12 oz beer of choice (gluten-free as needed)
  • 15 oz diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups lamb or beef broth
  • 1 cup barley or rice
  • 1 lb (about 4) potatoes, cubed
1. Saute the fat from the leg of lamb until well browned (don’t stir it too often, or it won’t brown as well).  While you are cooking the meat, cut up the vegetables except the potatoes).  Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and save in a bowl.  Remove and discard half the fat from the pot.  Brown the lamb meat in batches (putting too much in at a time will not let the meat brown as well), seasoning it with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove with a slotted spoon and save in a bowl with the fat pieces.

2. Add celery, half the carrots, garlic, onion, rosemary, thyme, and oregano and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add in the beer, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes until reduced by half.   Add in the tomatoes and broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.

3. Add the barley or rice and cook for 15 minutes.  Add more water at this point if you want a thinner soup.  Add the rest of the carrots and the potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Adapted from JG’s Irish Lamb Stew recipe.