Guinness Lamb Stew

I really think that lamb is under-rated in the U.S. for some reason. I’m not sure why but I love it and appreciate the hard work of the American Lamb Board and their Lamb Jam event. Stew  has always been one of those comfort foods for me. I cobbled this recipe together a while back to comfort a friend who had scheduled a trip to Ireland with a bunch of other friends, only to have to back out because she broke her leg. So to cheer her up I made this stew and some soda bread for her. It’s super easy and I love making it in my Instant Pot.  Enjoy!

 

Guinness Lamb Stew

  • 1 lbs lamb (I use a shank)
  • 3 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 6 oz carrot (I use the baby ones)
  • 12 oz potatoes, cut in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 cup green beans, diced
  • 1 cup peas
  • 6 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 bottles Guinness beer
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tsp black pepper

Directions

In a ziplock bag add the flour, salt and pepper. Put the lamb in and give it a good shake to coat it with the flour. Add the oil to your pot, in my case I use my Instant Pot on the saute setting, and brown the lamb. Remove it from the pot and add the bacon. Saute for about 3 minutes until brown and crispy. Add in the onion, garlic, and mushrooms with the butter; saute until the mushrooms have started to release their juice and the onion is translucent.

Put the lamb back in and add the beer and beef broth. Take the rosemary, thyme and bayleaf and tie them in a bundle with some cooking twin. This makes it super easy to fish out later. Add it to the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, celery, and tomato paste. I set my Instant Pot to cook overnight but you can do it in about 2 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the lamb falls off the bone.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shepherd’s Pie

This is a nice comfort food recipe that I like to make, especially in the winter. It’s even better because it freezes really well. You can use all sorts of meat; ground hamburger, lamb, but I prefer a good country sausage. It adds more flavor to the dish. Enjoy!

Sheppard’s Pie

  • 1 lbs ground meat
  • 1 carrot, diced (about the size of peas)
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup green beans, diced about 1/4″
  • 1 1/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 lbs potatoes diced and peeled
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher salt
  • Paprika
  • olive oil

Directions

In a large pot, I like to use my Le Creuset Round Dutch Oven, brown the ground meat and onion.

In another large stock pot cook the potatoes in water with a Tbsp of Kosher salt until tender. Drain and mash with the milk and cheddar cheese.

Once the meat is browned add the carrot, peas, and green beans with 1 cup of the beef stock. Simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the flour and remaining stock (I just use a jar and shake it well). Add into the meat and simmer for another 5 minutes or so, it should start to thicken.

Dish the meat into ramekins about 2/3rds full. Smooth the potatoes on top making sure to completely cover and seal the meat mixture in. Drizzle some olive oil on top and lightly sprinkle with the paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

Rack of Lamb with Polenta

I’m not sure how I got turned onto lamb. It’s not popular, or at least it seems, in the US. I love it. I go to Lamb Jam when it’s in Seattle, which is every other year, because it’s a great way to try a bunch of different lamb dishes (long with some fantastic wine).

Costco has rack of lamb at the pretty good price and I’ll pick on up every so often. I have heard from some friends that they don’t like lamb because it’s “gamey” but I haven’t found this to be the case with Costco’s lamb at all. The lamb is pretty easy and I love having it with cheesy polenta and pomegranate molasses. Enjoy!

Rack of lamb

Rack of lamb with Herbes de Provence

  • 1 rack of lamb
  • 2 tbsp Herbes de Provence
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • aluminum foil

Directions

Mix the Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper together. generously rub the herb mixture on the lamb (but not the bone part). Heat a skillet on high heat with the olive oil. Sear the lamb on each side, about 4 minutes.

Wrap the bone ends in the foil, this is so they don’t burn. Put in an oven proof pan (the skillet will do if it’s oven safe). Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Cheesy Polenta

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt (kosher or sea salt)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheese (I use Cougar Gold)*

Directions

In a medium pan bring the milk and water to a gentle boil. Slowly whisk in the polenta and keep stirring for about 2-3 minutes. The idea here is to keep it smooth, no one wants lumpy polenta. Turn down the head to medium-low and cover. Check it every 5 minutes or so and give it a stir.

Once it thickens and the polenta is all the way cooked, you can tell if you taste it, take it off the heat. Stir in the butter until completely melted. Add the cheese and stir until it’s melted as well. Add the salt and pepper and serve.

Pomegranate Molasses

  • 4 cups Pom (this is pomegranate juice)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Directions

Bring the Pom and sugar to a boil in a medium pan. Once it boils reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the mixture has reduced to about 1 cup. This will take just over an hour and it should have the consistency of thick syrup. Remove from the heat and cool. Once cooled you will want to refrigerate and it’ll last months. When you’re ready to use take it out and bring it to room temp.

BBQ Meatloaf

I grew up with meatloaf, my mom made it frequently. I liked it but this recipe gives it a unique twist. The bbq sauce, with the kick of the spice, makes it a favorite in my house. I like to use a combination of ground beef and ground lamb but you can make it with just ground beef if you like it that way or can’t find lamb. If you don’t like it too spicy then I recommend you take the ancho chili powder and chipotle powder down from 1 tbsp.

OK I have, so far, posted pictures with all my recipes. I’ve made this one twice now and both times was so hungry that I dug in before remembering to take a picture. So you’re getting a less than perfect pic of what little was left after we devoured it. Sorry.

IMG_1880

BBQ Meatloaf

  • 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I like the Italian ones)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce, plus extra for the top of the meatloaf (about 1 cup)

Directions:

In a large bowl mix together the bread crumbs, chipotle, ancho, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt. Mix until well combined. Add in the onion, beef, lamb, egg and 1/4 cup bbq sauce. Mix until just combined. The idea here is to not over mix it as it’ll make your meatloaf dry and “tough”.

Shape it on a cookie sheet that’s been sprayed with non-stick stray. I like a “log” shape myself but you can do round, whatever. I’ve learned that this is better than putting it in a bread pan, which is how my mom would make it. If it’s in a bread pan then all the juices and grease are trapped in the pan. If it’s on a cookie sheet those evaporate or spill out so your meatloaf isn’t so loose and greasy. Pour bbq sauce over the top until it’s covered.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until it read 160 in the middle on a thermometer.