Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a hearty Irish Stout Lamb Stew that’s slow simmered on top of the stove with red potatoes, carrots, onions, and a smoky stout beer.
St Patrick’s Day is fast approaching so I thought I’d better get a recipe out before I missed the holiday. I figured it’s better to be almost 2 weeks ahead of time than 2 weeks after, which my usual M.O. I’m not full-on Irish but St Paddy’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, probably because it revolves around good food and beer…
OK, definitely because it revolves around good food and beer. I guess there’s supposed to be something about a shamrock, saints and converting pagans. but let’s face it, us Americans use it as an excuse to eat Irish food, drink Irish beer, and generally celebrate all things Irish, even if we aren’t.
I remember the days of braving the crowds at Irish bars that opened at 6:00 AM, drinking green beer and scoring some free swag. Actually, free swag was kind of my thing. I was an expert at working the bartenders and waitresses so they would hook me up with St. Paddy’s Day freebies. To this day, I have a really nice set of complimentary beer glasses and some t-shirts that are now approaching “vintage” status. Oh, those were the days.
Aside from celebrating the holiday in Boston 2 years ago, I’ve left the crowds and the green beer to the youngsters. Now I ring in the holiday at home with a nice Irish pint (or two), a nice warm loaf of soda bread, and a huge bowl of hot Irish Stout Lamb Stew.
I also bust out the cool St. Paddy’s Day beer mugs every year. There’s still nothing like free glassware…it makes the beer taste better too.
Irish food is all about hearty, stick-to-your-ribs, meat and potato goodness. This Irish stout lamb stew is not only hearty, but easy and healthy too. For this recipe, I used humanely raised, grass fed, antibiotic and hormone free lamb from my favorite local farm, Normanton Farm. The lambs are raised in small flocks and are provided a natural lifestyle, which I love.
If you have local farms around you, please do yourself a favor and check them out by visiting them to see first hand how they operate. It has been so worth it for me to buy locally sourced meat and vegetables from people I trust, not to mention that fact that it’s good for the animals, the earth, and my health. Check out the site EAT WILD to look up local farms near you.
This stew is slow simmered on top of the stove and all the flavors meld together into one tasty dish. I was going to use the slow cooker for this recipe but I honesty like a stew that has been cooking on top of the stove for a couple of hours, so I nixed that plan.
The flavor of this also improves greatly by sitting a day, or two, in the refrigerator. It’s easy to plan ahead by making dinner the day before St Patrick’s Day, then all you have to do is heat it up, eat it, and hit the road to go Irish beer drinking! Yay!
Put this hearty and delicious Irish Stout Lamb Stew on your St Patrick’s Day menu and don’t forget the Irish Soda Bread!
- 2 pounds lamb stew meat or lamb shoulder , cut into 2' pieces (grass fed is preferred)
- 2 Tb flour
- 3 Tb olive or vegetable oil
- 6 medium sized organic whole carrots , scrubbed well and diced
- 1 medium onion , peeled and diced
- 1 large garlic clove , peeled and minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 12 ounce bottle of dark stout beer
- 3 medium organic red potatoes , scrubbed well and quartered
- 2 cups good quality beef stock , homemade or store bought
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 Tb oil over medium-high heat. Dust lamb with flour and add about a third of the lamb to the hot oil in the pan and sauté until browned. Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat process two more times with the remaining oil and lamb. Set all cooked lamb aside.
Turn down heat to medium, add a little more oil to the pot if needed, add the diced onion and carrots and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until onions are lightly browned. Add minced garlic and dried thyme, stir and cook for another minute. Turn heat back up to medium-high, add beer and stir until slightly reduced. Add potatoes, lamb, and beef stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, or until lamb is very tender.
Enjoy with some soda bread or spotted dog and extra bottles of stout beer!