Guinness Lamb Stew

February 18, 2021

Dinner would never be the same again after this Guinness lamb stew. A seared lamb simmered down in a Guinness broth is the perfect dinner option for your family.  

Lamb stew on layed out in a yellow plate with a white bowl filled with okra and rice

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A good stew is always a delicious thing. A wonderful Guinness lamb stew is a heavenly thing.

This dish is a hearty one, that easily becomes a comfort dish for those eating it.

Delicious slow-simmered seared lamb loins, cooked in a broth with vegetables and Guinness till it's tender.

A finger-licking dinner option that will have your family begging for more.

  

Normally when we say "stew" in the Caribbean, we most times are referring to browning sugar to caramelize to add some kind of meat. Like how we make pelau or stew chicken.
 
Another type of stew could also be a stir fry type of dish with tomatoes and onions. This is the way some people might make buljol or stew saltfish.
 
But this stew doesn't follow any of the ones mentioned above.

This dish also varies from the Traditional Irish lamb stew recipe. I do not use lamb chunks. In fact traditionally the Irish used goat meat as their base, (it has now been substituted with chunks) and it also includes potatoes and parsley. Both of which are not included in this version.

Guinness stout gives meat such great roasted flavor with the wheat.

What cut of lamb is best for stew?


For this, I used loin chops or chops. For the traditional recipe, some like to use shanks that have been chunked. Or even leg pieces.

I didn't want this recipe to be like a soup-style stew, so chops/loin chops worked perfectly. If you are still trying to figure out which parts of the lamb are best for what, Jaime Oliver gives a nice lamb cuts synopsis. 

Once browned, they hold up amazingly well to then continue to simmer down in the broth. And the bones add even more flavor to the dish.

The meat is tender, falling off the bone when finished.

How to make Guinness Stew


This recipe is packed with flavor, so to get to that level of taste, your ingredients, therefore, need to be ones that are flavor-filled. And as fresh as possible.

Lamb - loins or chops about 3" thick. I find these at Publix often or at my Caribbean supermarket. I don't always see it in my butcher shop.
Oil
Onion
Carrots
Garlic cloves
Chopped celery
Tomato paste
Guinness stout
Broth - this can be cups of beef broth or chicken
Bay leaves
Thyme
Hot pepper - if you don't have scotch bonnet pepper on hand you can easily use chili pepper or your favorite hot pepper sauce
Flavor pepper
Allspice
Salt/black pepper to taste

I must also mention the equipment needed for this. A good sturdy dutch oven pot is ideal. They are the perfect pots for braises and stews because it continuously distributes heat evenly.




 





This makes them the best vessel to sear at high temperatures and to cook things "low and slow".

A medium to large-sized one is the best size option to get to have room to fit as many pieces in the bottom of the pan without overcrowding. And for them to sit in the broth to simmer down.

In medium-high heat, heat your oil till it's smoking but NOT burning.

Add your pieces to sear. I put them down and for a few seconds don't move them. Then give it a little jiggle, but leaving it on the first side still for about a minute. Then I flip it over and repeat.


  
Lamb loins in the process of being browned in the potb loins

Searing the meat is important to give them additional flavor. Doing this makes the natural sugars caramelize and form a nice rich brown crust.

It also leaves behind some bits that to the broth flavor when the cooking continues. Some people like to put the lamb in flour prior to searing but it is not necessary.

Don't worry about the burnt pieces at the bottom of the pot, you need them. It will dissolve in the broth when we start making the sauce to cook in.

After all the pieces are seared, remove and set aside.

Now time to start building your base. If all the oil disappeared add some more to sauté your onions, half your carrots, and your celery.
 
I only use half my carrots here because I like to get a firmer texture of carrots later down. You can add it all here if you want. 

Add half the Guinness and start getting the crusty bits up. Just keep stirring and easing it up. Do not dig it off, let it come off naturally.

Add your lamb pieces back in, packing them as well as you can. It's okay if you have to layer them. Add the rest of the Guinness and the broth.

It is essential that the pieces are covered in liquid. Pieces that stay out in the cooking process can become dry and tough. If after adding your liquids there are still pieces out you can use more broth or even water to take it to the correct level.

Don't forget to add your bay leaves, tomato paste, and allspice mix. I miss being home and getting fresh bay leaf, but the dry ones will have to work, I usually just double it up.

Cover and let it cook on medium heat until tender. It will be a few hours.

Occasionally check for liquid amounts versus the doneness of the meat. I've never had to add more liquid but I do keep my eye out for that happening.
 
When it's done, you will have tender pieces of meat in a flavorful Guinness-spiked broth.


  
Finished Guinness lamb stew in a dutch pot



My sauce tastes bitter


Uh oh. This happens sometimes when using beer but less likely to happen with stout because it has less wheat. If that does happen, just add some sugar in increments and let it simmer.

Also when cooking with things with wheat, avoid using very high heat levels. They contain bitter alpha acids and high heat increases the bitterness.


How do you thicken Guinness stew?


This is not soup so you don't need to have too much liquid. If you happen to think that the sauce is too thin, and your meat is cooked, you can still thicken it.

Carefully remove the pieces of meat and place them aside. You can put them in the oven on the lowest heat to keep them warm if you wish. Take a tablespoon of cornstarch or flour and add water to the spoon and dissolve it into a smooth paste. Add to the sauce in the pot and let it simmer till it thickens.


  
Slices of cooked lamb stew on a yellow plate


What to serve with lamb stew?


A good stew needs something to sop up that good delicious gravy. So pair it with some okra and rice or even some mashed potatoes would be great.

A side of mixed vegetables, or just some crusty toasted hard dough bread.


How to reheat lamb?


Lamb can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days. And in the freezer for up to two months.

If you are taking this from the freezer, get it to room temperature then reheat it, making sure it's heated all the way through.

This can also be made ahead a few hours. It can be kept warm in the oven on the lowest heat for at most 20 minutes prior to serving.


 
Hearty lamb stew slices on a yellow plate with a pot of servings and a bowl of rice and okra










Guinness lamb stew, stew lamb with Guinness
Entree
American
Yield: 6
Author: Renz
Guinness Lamb Stew

Guinness Lamb Stew

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 2 HourTotal time: 2 H & 10 M
A delicious Guinness lamb stew with cuts of lamb loins seared and cooked slowly down in a Guinness-spiked broth.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Season lamb with green seasoning
  2. Over a medium-high heat, heat oil in a large wide bottom pot just until it starts to smoke
  3. Brown each piece of lamb in the hot oil on both sides until brown. Depending on the size of your pot you may need to remove pieces when done to do the others.
  4. Once all pieces are braised, set them aside.
  5. With the oil that is leftover (or add more if all oil is done), add garlic and onions
  6. Cook until onions are translucent.
  7. Then add in carrots and celery. Mix well.
  8. Add half of Guinness and mix, picking up any burnt bites that would be at the bottom of the pot.
  9. Place lamb pieces back into the pot. Add rest of Guinness and broth. Make sure that the lamb is fully covered by liquid.
  10. Add bay leaf, tomato paste, allspice, and pepper to the pot. 
  11. Leave the lamb to cook until it's falling off the bone. About 2 hours. (add more water if the meat is not cooked and liquid reduces)
  12. Make sure you have enough liquid to have a nice gravy. 
  13. Taste for salt and pepper
  14. Serve hot
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Renz HomeMadeZagat
Renz HomeMadeZagat

Hi guys, I’m Renz. I am the chief cook and bottle washer here at HomeMadeZagat. I am here sharing Caribbean recipes that I grew up eating and new ones I’ve fallen in love with over the years. I just want to showcase the amazing diversity of Caribbean food and that everyone can recreate these dishes.

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