Lamb stew is a hearty, savory stew made with tender lamb, potatoes, turnips, and onions. With only a few ingredients, it's really simple to create. Simply boil everything in a saucepan to make the perfect hearty Irish stew for a chilly night.
LAMB STEW (IRISH STEW)
Coming from an Irish family in New Zealand, lamb stew was a distinctive delicacy I grew up with. It's a hearty meal that combines savory, meaty, and veggie flavors. But today I'm making a gluten-free and paleo-friendly variation.
This stew is often cooked in a meaty Guinness broth. And, while there is no Guinness or flour in this recipe, there isn't really any need for it. Fresh veggies, tender lamb, and fragrant spices complement each other well. Make this for a quick weeknight supper or to prepare for St. Patrick's Day!
LAMB STEW INGREDIENTS
Here's a brief rundown of what you'll need. However, refer to the recipe below for instructions on how to prepare each ingredient.
- Lamb: 2.5-pound lamb shoulder
- Bacon: 4 bacon slices
- 2 onions are required.
- Potatoes: 2 lbs of fresh potatoes
- Turnip with carrots: 6 tiny carrots and 1 turnip
- Vegetables or chicken? 4 cups broth (either beef or chicken)
- Spices: 1 teaspoon dried thyme, seasoned with salt & pepper to taste
WHAT CUT OF LAMB IS BEST FOR STEW
The best cuts of lamb for stews are the shoulders or shanks.
After being slowly roasted, lamb shoulder releases a ton of flavor and becomes incredibly tender. The collagen in lamb shanks makes it a better choice for braising and slow cooking even though it is a less expensive cut of meat. When the meat is finished cooking, it has a soft, melting texture that practically melts off the bone.
HOW TO MAKE LAMB STEW
Let's discuss the recipe now. I cut a New Zealand lamb shoulder into two-inch chunks using organic meat. It's ok if the lamb chunks seem large because they will slightly reduce in size once it is cooked. From there, putting the stew together is incredibly simple.
- Simply sauté a few slices of bacon, salt, and pepper the lamb, and then brown it on all sides in the bacon fat.
- Add the lamb back to your pot along with broth and dried thyme and simmer for an hour.
- Chop some carrots, potatoes, and a turnip, add them to the stew, and cook it for another 20 minutes while the lamb simmers.
So that's it. This is a delicious recipe for hearty, melt-in-your-mouth lamb stew.
HOW TO STORE LEFTOVERS
Allow the stew to cool to room temperature before storing it. Then keep it in the refrigerator for about three to four days in airtight containers. Alternatively, you could freeze it for up to three months.
LAMB STEW (IRISH STEW)
- 2 ½ pounds lamb shoulder, cubed
- 4 slices bacon, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 onions, cut into wedges
- 2 pounds new potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 small to medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 2-inch pieces
- 1 turnip, cubed
- 4 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Heat a large dutch oven on medium heat and add the bacon. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the bacon is crispy. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the lamb pieces (working in batches), browning all sides in the bacon fat. Remove the lamb to a plate.
- Add the onion to the dutch oven and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Add the lamb back to the dutch oven along with the broth and dried thyme. Bring the broth to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour.
- After one hour add the potatoes, carrots, turnip, and bacon. Cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.