Guiness (lamb) stew

Wondering what that picture is? Well, I saw a nice stalk of Brussels sprouts at our farmers’ market and also purchased some celery root balls, and it just seemed like they’d make a great centerpiece. And I was right.

So on to this recipe, which calls for neither Brussels sprouts nor celery root.

As usual, I’m guessing at quantities here, and I’m encouraging you to have faith that you can make lots of substitutions without much problem. Please note that all the quantities are rough. You can vary them. You can also vary the vegetables. Use what you’ve got! (But don’t leave out the onions and garlic. And don’t use some inferior beer.)


  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2.5 cups of reasonably lean lamb meat (I use lamb shoulder and trim and cut it myself, cutting away all the tough bits and most of the fat)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and then garlic very roughly chopped
  • 5 big carrots, peeled and sliced into disks about 1/4 inch wide
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into disks about 1/4 inch wide
  • 3 medium-sized turnips, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
  • 2 cups of wax beans or green beans cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • a large handful of slightly-dried thyme stems with leaves (or substitute about 2 tablespoons of dried thyme leaves)
  • a large handful of slightly-dried rosemary stems with leaves (or substitute about 2 tablespoons of finely ground dried rosemary)
  • kosher salt
  • 3 bottles of Guinness extra stout, plus more for the cook


  1. Marinate the cook, enough so that she or he enjoys cooking, but not so much that she or he is careless with knives.

  2. Heat up about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a deep, heavy skillet that comes with a lid (I use this).

  3. Add the meat and brown it (stir it occasionally to brown the sides).

  4. Add the onions and some more oil and stir well. Cook about 5 more minutes.

  5. Add the garlic, carrots, parsnips, and turnips, and more oil, and stir well to coat the vegs in the browned oil. Cook about another 5 minutes.

  6. Add the Guinness, stirring by scraping the bottom of the pan with a metal spoon, so that you free up all the crusty bits into the stew.

  7. Also add the beans, thyme, and rosemary, and stir those in gently.

  8. Cover and cook for about 45 minutes or more on low heat (just enough to keep it bubbling happily), stirring occasionally.

  9. Just before serving, use tongs to pull out the stems of the thyme and rosemary. (If you used dried spices without stems, obviously skip this step.)

  10. Serve the stew very hot, with fresh warm bread and kosher salt on the side, for those who want it all salted. Provide butter for the bread.

This is soooo good, especially if you follow this course with a nice green salad. Even people who think they don’t like lamb love this stew.


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