Lamb Stew

In todays day and age I have grown to  love  my instant pots and slow cookers and use them on everyday basis, but I admit that I still very much enjoy making some very special dishes in my dutch oven .. there is something very warm and comforting about slow cooking, a sense of trusting my skills of timing, stirring and adding each ingredient to the pot at the right time. I believe that there are some old traditions that I would never want to get rid of and the art of slow cooking is one of them.. I would love to share it with family, friends, foes and neighbors. Keeping that feeling in my heart I would like to share this warm, comforting lamb stew recipe with you all.

When I think of this recipe I think of  the verdant hills of Ireland and its rainy weather… well it is not Ireland here but it is one such rainy day, soo lets get cooking!

In the following recipe there is no flour as the thickening agent for the stew, instead I use a couple table spoons of pearl barley and the natural starch released from the potatoes as they start to get tender.

IMG_1294Ingredients

1 pound of boneless lamb shoulder cut in to 2 inch pieces

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 large onions diced

2 carrots chopped in to 1 inch thick pieces

4 to 5 medium potatoes peeled ( I prefer yukon gold but you can use russet as well.  I put them in whole but you could choose to quarter them )

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp of dried thyme

1 small sprig of rosemary (you can use dried ones too)

4 cups of chicken stock

2 table spoons of pearl barley

1 table spoon of olive oil

2 tablespoons of  butter ( I swear by Kerrygold but you can use any you fancy )

salt and pepper to taste

Start with some butter and olive oil in a dutch oven over a medium flame, now add the meat and crank up the heat to sear and seal the meat. Once the meat turns color on the edges go ahead and add the onions and garlic. Stir for a few seconds and now add the carrots , and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Stir well and now add the rosemary, thyme , pearl barley and 4 cups of chicken stock, stirring well once more.  Cover with the lid and simmer for 40 minutes or so or until the meat is half done. Once the meat reaches the stage of half done you add the whole potatoes cover and simmer. Simmer until meat and potatoes are fork tender. Serve hot with your choice of a crusty bread!

Some tips:

  • Timing to add the potatoes depends on whether you choose to cut them or not.  if you leave them whole it will take 5 to 7 minutes more and you cut them in to quarters  it will reduce the time by a few minutes. If you choose to quarter the potatoes then you add them when the meat is almost fork tender
  • To check the meat for doneness  just pierce it with a fork and if it goes through  easy or cuts with fork easy, it is done.

 

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