This is an old O’Reilly family recipe…
Just kidding. It’s a pretty standard Irish lamb stew. The only unfamiliar term you might run across in the recipe is “bouquet garni”, which is just french for “garnished bouquet”. In this case is a bunch of thyme, bay leaves and parsley, tied together and dunked into the stew. It gives the stew tons of flavor without being overbearing.
- 6 strips of bacon
- 3 lbs lamb, cut into bite sized pieces (if you can get a bone in there, all the better)
- 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp herbs de provence
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 T butter
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 white onions, one diced and one cut into rings
- 1 cup chopped leeks
- 3 cloves crushed garlic (or more or less to taste)
- 1 sprig of thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup white wine (optional)
- 1/2 cup Guinness (optional, sub extra 1/2 cup beef stock for gluten free)
- 2-3 cups lamb or beef stock
- 2 t white sugar
- 6 yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed (waxy potatoes hold their shape better, but you can use any kind of potato you like.)
- 4-6 carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 bouquet garni (3 sprigs each of fresh parsley, thyme, and bay leaf)
- 1 T potato starch
- 1 T water
- salt and pepper to taste
While the bacon is frying in a dutch oven or large stock pot, toss the lamb in a mixture of flour, herbs de provence and sea salt. Remove the bacon and crumble, then set aside.
In the bacon grease on medium high heat, brown the lamb in batches, taking care not to crowd, and making sure all sides are browned. If you run out of bacon grease, add the butter and olive oil. Expect some smoke.
When all the lamb is browned and set aside to rest, add the onions, leeks and garlic to the pot and brown them until they are caramelized.
Deglaze the pan with white wine (or water, if you prefer), and get all of the dark bits off of the bottom. Add the lamb back in and pour the Guinness (or beef stock) over. Let it reduce a bit, until it is the consistency of thin gravy.
Pour in stock and keep heat at medium high for a few minutes until it is threatening to boil, but don’t bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down, add the sugar, and simmer for an hour.
Add potatoes, carrots, and garni and let simmer for another 20 minutes.
If the stew is a little thin, mix the water and potato starch in a bowl and add to the stew, and let it simmer another 10 minutes. Then salt and pepper to taste.