Irish American Lamb Stew is an Americanized version of the classic Irish stew. Guinness stout gives richness and depth to this lamb stew without any hint of beer flavor. Irish stew is traditionally made with lamb, but you may substitute beef if you must. The onions, peas, and mushrooms add flavor, but you might wish to add some garlic for extra punch. This is probably the most flavorful gravy you have ever tasted so do serve the stew with Irish mashed potatoes, known as champ or poundies, to soak up all the goodness. This makes a hearty and filling meal for St. Patrick’s Day or any day.
Irish American Lamb Stew Recipe
2 teaspoons butter
3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
1-3/4 cups (14-ounce can) beef broth
1 bottle or can (12 ounces) Guinness stout beer
1/2 pound white pearl onions, blanched and peeled (may substitute frozen – do not thaw)
8 ounces tomato sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 pound white mushrooms, large ones halved
1-1/2 cups frozen baby peas (see Notes)
1 cup heavy cream, light cream, or half and half
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
Prepared mashed potatoes (champ or poundies)
Brown lamb in butter in batches in a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting cover. Avoid crowding the pan with the meat or it will boil instead of brown.
Return all the browned lamb to the pot, along with any accumulates juices. Add beef broth, stout beer, pearl onions, tomato sauce, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Skim off any excess fat. (Prepare mashed potatoes while the lamb is cooking.)
Add mushrooms. Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes, or until lamb and vegetables are tender. Add frozen peas, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 3 minutes.
Whisk flour into the heavy cream. Blend into the stew and bring back to a low boil. Cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly until thickened. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve over or with Irish mashed potatoes (known as “champ” or “poundies”).
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
• Use fresh or frozen peas, but not canned. They will turn into mush. The peas are added last to retain color and texture.
• Beef may be substituted for the lamb for an extremely flavorful beef stew.
• Irish stew is also good over noodles or rice.