That day is approaching: Irish Lamb Stew

Okay, so it’s the week of Saint Patrick’s Day and there are all these recipes for foods to make on that day. Here is a delicious stew that is so good it is a shame not to make it anytime. Yes, it contains the obligatory Guinness.

Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 – 3 pounds boneless lamb stew meat (preferably shoulder), cut into cubes
3 tablespoons canola oil or whatever you prefer to cook with
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
12 ounces Guinness Extra Stout or similar beer
1 ½ pounds medium new potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut ½ inch thick diagonally
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Season flour with salt and pepper in a large bowl. You may find it easier to mix in a gallon size storage bag and simply add the lamb to the bag and shake. Either way, dredge lamb in flour mixture, shaking off excess. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about five minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Pour ¼ to ½ cup water into pot, scraping up browned bits from bottom with a wooden spoon. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until water has evaporated and onion is beginning to soften. This will take about about 5 minutes. Return lamb to pot and stir in thyme, beer, and 1 ½ cups water. Cover and simmer until lamb is tender, approximately 1 hour.

Add potatoes, carrots, and an additional ½ cup water if needed. Cook, covered, until vegetables are tender and stew has thickened, about 1 additional hour. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in parsley just before serving.

Lamb is very wine friendly. Almost any good red wine will pair well with this dish.

Steak and Guinness Pie: Bacon, Steak, Guinness, and Cheese. What more is there?

image

I have been wanting to make this Steak and Guinness Pie so I could blog about it for a long time. This recipe is my adaptation of a steak and Guinness pie recipe of Jamie Oliver’s. He uses a puff pastry for the crust where I choose to use a regular pie crust.

This is a great soul warming comfort food that would be fantastic on a cold winter day; especially one where you were snowed in.

image

This recipe is written to use a single nine inch pie pan which works very well. I just happen to have small, five-inch, one and a half cup individual pie pans that I like to use for dishes like this.

Ingredients

4 slices bacon (sliced)
1 pound beef (cut into ½ to ¾ inch pieces)
1 onion (medium dice)
2 stalks celery (diced)
2 carrots (diced)
4 ounces mushrooms (quartered)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 Guinness
1 cup beef stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon rosemary (minced)
1 bay leaf
2 pie crusts
1 cup cheddar cheese (grated)
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
Flour for dredging

Directions

Fry the bacon in a 12″ cast iron skillet. When completely browned, remove from skillet with slotted spoon leaving the grease in the pan. Set bacon aside. Dredge beef cubes in flour and add to skillet to brown on all sides and then remove beef from skillet and set aside.

Add the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Leave vegetables in the skillet and add the Guinness and deglaze the pan. Add the stock, bacon, beef, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beef is tender, about 2-3 hours.

Line the bottom of a pie pan with the first pie crust and fill with beef stew. Sprinkle the cheese over the beef stew and cover with the top pie crust. Crimp the two shells together and make a couple slits in the shell to allow steam to vent during cooking. Mix the egg and water and brush it onto the top of the pie crust. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in a preheated 350° oven until golden brown on top.