A simple base of classic dark stout pairs beautifully with this low and slow lamb stew. A hint of smoky flavor from the paprika and the filling potatoes and carrots make this Slow Cooker Smoky Irish Lamb Stew the perfect winter bowl of comfort.
One of my favorite proteins to work with is lamb. I think it is an incredibly versatile meat that we just consume much here in the states. You can read more about my thoughts on why here (and check out that killer recipe for that rack of lamb while you’re at it). It can be harder to source in our local markets, and reality is, not many people I know are willing to cook it because they associate it with a gamey sort of flavor.
But if you happen to find yourself with an opportunity to get ahold of some fresh lamb (and looking to up your St. Patrick’s Day menu), the shoulder and lamb shank are perfect for a low and slow cook that produces a flavor loaded stew.
I happened to have a small lamb shank and bone in shoulder, that I wanted to use and tossed them in the slow cooker for a few hours after hunting out a great local stout while exploring Eagle, Colorado. With a light snow falling outside and the fireplace roaring inside, this went down in my epic playbook as a perfect recipe.
Rules of Great Stews.
They must be thick. I don’t want a brothy bowl of weak soup. If I wanted to drink broth, I’d stick to sipping straight bone broth.
The flavors must be allowed to mingle. I’m talking low and slow cook times here. If you’re really working the bonus points, make it a day ahead of time.
They must have fork tender meat. Low slow heat is perfect for more challenging cheaper cuts that don’t do well for quick sears. Think of bulky shoulders and rumps that will break down beautifully over time.
They must be all about that base. A great stew is about layering flavors. It’s about taking care to add and build but not overwhelm with just one thing.
They must have a variety of flavors. Which pretty much means add any additional veggie you can that works with the overall dish. Clean out the pantry and fridge.
They must make me want to come back for seconds. Yep, a great stew will fill you up, but damned if you won’t want to dip that spoon in one more time to just to linger on the flavors a little longer.
You can prep this recipe a day ahead, up until you add the potatoes. Allow the soup to cool, if making ahead, spooning any fat off from the surface and discard.
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1/4" slices
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lbs bone-in lamb shoulder
- 1 lbs bone-in lamb shank
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs smoked paprika
- 1 teas oregano
- 1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
- 1 10 oz stout beer
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 large russet potatoes, washed and chopped
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 to 4 tbs cornstarch or arrowroot powder
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
- Place the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic in a large slow cooker. Season the lamb with salt nd pepper and nestle into the slow cooker over the vegetables.
- Add the smoked paprika and oregano. Pour in the tomatoes, beer, and broth. Cover and allow to cook for 5 to 6 hours on low.
- Carefully remove the lamb and shred, discarding bones and any fat. Return to the crock pot.
- Add the potatoes to the crock pot and cook for another 2 to 3 hours over low, until the potatoes are fork tender.
- In a small bowl, whisk the water and cornstarch together to create a slurry. Stir into the crock pot and allow the stew to thicken, 30 to 40 minutes. Add the peas and heat through.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.