This year, go wild and create a new twist on your favorite St. Patrick’s Day stew! Try our Sweet & Lucky Lager Lamb Stew!
Sweet & Lucky Lager Lamb Stew
2 L of Leg of Lamb Meat, (Tempered, Cubed )
2 T of All Purpose Flour
5 T of Canola Oil
2 C of Portobello Mushroom Caps, (Gills Removed, Medium Diced)
1 ½ C of Red Onion, (Medium Diced)
1 C of Celery, (Medium Diced)
1 C of Celery Root, (Medium Diced)
1 C of Turnip, (Medium Diced)
3 Garlic Cloves, (Minced)
2 (12 fluid oz) Cans or Bottles of Good Irish Lager Beer (Like Harp)
1-2 Cans or Bottles of Good Irish Lager Beer (optional)
2 cups of Beef Stock
1 cup of Water
1 cup of Sweet Potatoes, (Peeled and Medium Diced)
1 T of Malt Vinegar
1 T of Fresh Thyme, Chopped
1 T of Fresh Rosemary, Chopped
Fresh Parsley for Garnish
Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
Large Mixing Spoon
Large Mixing Bowl
Top o’ the Mornin (or Evenin’) to Ya! & Happy St. Patrick’s Day. To begin this New World twist on Irish Stew, your ingredients should all be prepped for a proper Mise En Place, (which I don’t think we have a word for in Gaelic).
Once prepped, the first step is to Season your Tempered and Carré (Large Diced) Leg of Lamb meat in a large Mixing Bowl with Salt & Pepper. Add the All Purpose Flour to the Mixing Bowl with the Lamb and Toss the ingredients until they are fully incorporated. When the Lamb is well dusted and seasoned, set it aside for a minute or two while we focus on heating the stew pot.
Place a large Sauce Pan or Stock Pot on the stove top. If you have the option, select a pot or pan made from a traditional material and avoid a non-stick for this recipe where we do want the Fond to stick and add flavor. Give it a few minutes on Medium/High Heat before pouring in the Canola Oil. Let the Canola Oil heat up, until it is approaching its Smoke Point, which will be a Visual Clue that the Pan is ready to receive the Lamb cubes. With the stew pot at heat, add in the Lamb and Brown the cubes. Use a Mixing Spoon or Spatula to circulate the cubes. As we discuss in Smart Kitchen’s Exercise on Searing, the goal of some cooking can be simply Par-Cooking to impart texture and flavor. That is the goal with the Lamb and the next few batches of ingredients here.
While the Lamb is Browning, either clean your large Mixing Bowl that was previously holding Raw Lamb to avoid Cross-Contamination, or prepare another Mixing Bowl to hold the browned Lamb when it comes out of the stew pot. When the meat is Browned remove it from the stew pot with the Mixing Spoon, a Spatula or Tongs. Place the meat in the cleaned Mixing Bowl or the second Mixing Bowl. The Mixing Spoon and Spatula have the benefit of removing the Browned Lamb from the cooking vessel quickly.
With the Lamb off the heat, keep your stew pot on the burner but turn down the heat to Medium Heat. Place the De-Gilled and Parmentier (Medium Diced) Portobello Mushrooms in stew pot. The fact that the stew pot was used to Brown the Lamb is not a problem but a benefit. We are assuming that a bit of Fat, in the form of Lamb Fat and/or Canola Oil, remains in your stew pot from Browning the Lamb. If it doesn’t, it is OK to add in a bit more Fat to protect the Mushrooms. Sauté the Mushrooms until they are Al Dente. This should take about 3 minutes, or so.
Once the Mushrooms are Al Dente, remove them from the stew pot with a Mixing Spoon. Place them into the large Mixing Bowl with the Lamb meat. Next, keep the burner on Medium Heat and place the Diced vegetables (Red Onions, Carrots, Celery, Celery Root, and Turnips) into the stew pot.
Sauté the new round of vegetables, stirring occasionally with your Mixing Spoon until the Red Onions are slightly Caramelized. The slight caramelization is a Visual Clue that the quick cooking Minced Garlic can be added. Sauté the whole mixture until the next Visual Clue occurs which is the Red Onions turning golden brown. With the Red Onions golden brown, remove all of the vegetables from the stew pot and let them join the Lamb and Mushroom party in the large Mixing Bowl. Set all of your par-cooked ingredients aside for a minute while you focus all of your attention on the next step: Deglazing.
For the Deglazing, keep the stew pot in place on the burner and bring the heat up to High Heat. By now, the stew pot has garnered an amazing collection of Fond which we will want to take advantage of in our Sweet & Lucky Lager Lamb Stew. Pour in the Irish Lager and the Malt Vinegar and Deglaze the stew pot. Don’t worry if you have a lingering thirst for the sweet fermented dew of the Emerald Isle; that is what the optional can/bottle of beer is for. We address the thirst just below.
When the stew pot is Deglazed, we are ready to begin making our Irish Stew. Pour in the Beef Stock and Water and bring the liquid to a Boil. When the mixture is boiling, add in the Par-Cooked contents held in the large Mixing Bowl.
Next, add in the Diced Sweet Potatoes and the Minced Rosemary and Thyme. These ingredients were not Par-Cooked or Browned intentionally. Without Browning, the Sweet Potatoes will remain a festive golden color in the stew which is reminiscent of both, the famous Irish tuber, the Potato, and the legendary Leprechaun gold in the pot at the end of the rainbow. The Sweet Potatoes also don’t need to be Browned because they will Stew long enough to cook them. The herbs are not Browned because we want their Volatile Oils to leech into the Stewing Liquid and infuse the ingredients as they Stew.
With all the ingredients in the stew pot, bring the heat down to Low Heat to establish a light Simmer. Stir the Sweet & Lucky Lager Irish Lamb Stew periodically as it bubbles for 45 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are Fork Tender. While the ingredients cook, Chop your Parsley (or pick the sprigs) and clean and put away your knives.
With the harder and potentially more dangerous (heat & knives) work done, there is an extended period of quiet Simmering, in which to enjoy the optional Irish Lager which tends to be sold in packs of 6. With two of the bottles bubbling away, if you are of age and do tipple, now might be a good time to sample one (or 2) of the remaining 4 exported adult beverages. Mind the heat, stir (and smell) occasionally until the stewing ingredients are Fork Tender.
When it is ready, you can serve the Irish Stew immediately or Hold the Irish Stew hot on Low Heat for an hour or two until your guests have gathered. When ready to eat spoon out portions into Serving Bowls and Garnish with the previously Chopped Parsley or the previously picked Parsley Sprigs. Serve Hot.
Irish Stew does well as Leftovers and can be refrigerated and stored for 3 to 5 days.
Go Green and have a great holiday.