Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lamb Stew with Quick Rolls

I've been waiting for St. Pats to make this lamb stew since I've had a gallon of lamb stock hanging out in my freezer for a while now (see my post on Homemade Slow-Cooker Stock here).  We've been on kind of a lamb kick lately and the holiday seemed like the perfect time to try this recipe out!  I've kept the recipe super simple and traditional - no garlic, tomato paste, or sauteing the vegetables beforehand.  Just dump it into the pot and let it cook in the oven all day until you're ready to eat!

These quick rolls are the easiest thing to make on the side of a big pot of soup, chili or anything that just needs a little something to dip with.  The original recipe calls for just three ingredients (self-rising flour, milk and mayonnaise) but since I only have all purpose flour and this time didn't have milk, you can improvise and it still turns out the same.  It is also a great base recipe if you want to add a little something extra to it like fresh herbs, cheese or bacon.

Lamb Stew
2-3 pounds lamb stew meat (my butcher picked out a boneless leg for me and chopped it up)
1/2 cup flour, plus salt and pepper
1 bottle Guinness
4-5 sprigs rosemary
2-3 yellow potatoes, chopped into medium chunks
4 medium carrots, chopped into large chunks
1 yellow onion, chopped into medium chunks 7 cups lamb stock

Quick Rolls
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt and pepper

Place a cast iron Dutch oven on the stovetop and heat a small amount of olive oil over medium.  Dredge the lamb pieces in the flour seasoned with salt and pepper and brown in the hot pan, a minute or two on each side, and remove to a plate.  Keep browning all the lamb in batches, adding more oil to the pan as needed.

When all the lamb is browned, pour the Guinness into the hot pot and stir to deglaze.  Allow to reduce slightly and remove from heat.  Add the chopped potatoes and carrots to the pot, along with the rosemary.  Add the meat and cover with the onions.  Pour the lamb stock over the top and place in the oven.  Cook at 275 degrees for 3-4 hours.

An hour before serving, remove the pot from the oven and place on the stovetop.  Boil over medium heat without stirring.  Skim off the fat and foam that boils to the top until the stew juices are clear.  Allow to simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom, until the liquid reduces and thickens and potatoes and carrots are cooked through and tender.

While the stew simmers, prepare six muffin tins by greasing generously with butter.  In a mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cream and water and combine with a fork until a shaggy dough forms.  Drop by large spoonfuls into the six muffin tins and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

When the stew is cooked to desired thickness, taste for salt and pepper.  Serve the stew with the rolls on the side and a glass of red wine or Guinness.


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