1. Prepare all of the Vegetables ahead before you touch the
Meat. Peel the Potatoes and quarter them, peel the Carrots
and cut into large 2 inch pieces, peel and quarter the
Onions, Peel the Garlic and cut each clove in half and cut
the Celery into large 2 inch pieces. Big pieces of Veg will
stay large and will not shrink up to nothing while it
stews. Set all aside. Measure out all of the other
ingredients and set aside ready for use later.
2. Use a large heavy bottomed pot for this recipe like a
Dutch Oven that is at least 6 qts. A flimsy thin pot will
burn your stew and not allow the Meat to brown (where all
the flavor starts) properly. Have a Cookie sheet ready to
help transfer the pot to and from the oven safely.
3. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
4. Pat dry the Lamb or Beef Roast using paper towel and
then cut off excess fat and reserve it. Leave a small
amount of fat on the Meat because this will give the Stew
some flavor. Cut the Lamb or Beef into large chunks about 2
inches square. The Meat shrinks while it stews so you want
big pieces and not look like baby food when it's done.
5. Place all the chunked Meat into a big zip lock bag and
pour in 3/4 c All Purpose Flour. Seal the bag after
removing any air and shake until the Meat is all covered
with Flour. The Flour will thicken the Stew as it cooks.
6. Place a large heavy bottomed pot (like a Le Creuset
Dutch Oven) over medium heat with 2 T Olive Oil. Add all
the removed fat you trimmed to the Olive Oil and brown it
for 5 mins. This will melt the fat and give the Stew lots
of flavor. After the fat has rendered remove the pieces of
browned fat and discard.
7. Brown the Lamb or Beef in 2 batches. Add 1/2 of the
Flour covered Lamb or Beef chunks to the pot keeping them
well spaced so they caramelize. Putting them too close
together and crowding the pot will make them steam and not
brown. Add 1/2 t of Salt and 1/2 t of Black Pepper, fresh
ground to each batch as it browns. Brown the Lamb or Beef
to a dark color on all sides, turning frequently
and watching closely to avoid burning. This step is
critical to the final Stew's flavor, don't lightly brown the
8. Remove the well browned Lamb or Beef and set aside on a
platter or plate. The bottom of the pot will have a lot of
browned cooked on bits. This is full of Meat flavor. Turn
the heat up to high and slowly add a 14.9 oz. can of
Guinness Beer. Using a large wooden spoon scrape up all the
cooked on brown bits on the bottom of the pot as the
Guinness deglazes it. Be aggressive with the wooden spoon
and work to scrape it up into the Guinness. Bring to a
9. Reduce the heat to medium and add the Tomato Paste,
Worcestershire Sauce, 2 t Sea Salt, 2 t Black Pepper, fresh
ground, 2 t dried Thyme, 3 t Rosemary that has been finely
chopped, 4 cloves of fresh Garlic, peeled and cut in half, 2
Bay Leaves, 6 T Beef Base (such as Better Than Boullion
brand found near the Boullion cubes at the market) and 2 c
water. Simmer for 2 minutes then add back all of the
browned Lamb or Beef including any juices that accumulated
on the platter. Stir well.
10. Add all the prepped Veg on top. Use a large spoon and
push the Veg down into the Meat and Sauce. Add up to 1 c of
Water if needed to have enough Sauce almost, but not
completely, cover the Veg. Some Veg and Meat should stick
out above the Sauce. Turn up the heat to High and bring to
a boil with the lid off. Once at a boil cover with the lid
and place on the Cookie sheet and place in the preheated
oven. Cook for 2 1/2 hours at 325 degrees undisturbed.
11. After 2 1/2 hours remove from the oven and remove the
lid and allow to sit for 20 mins. Any excess fat will rise
to the top. Spoon this off and discard. As it sits the
Sauce will thicken. Taste the Sauce for seasoning and add
more Salt or Black Pepper if needed and stir in well. REMOVE
THE BAY LEAVES so no one chokes on them. Serve with
Irish Soda Bread with Butter or any dark Bread like the
Irish do with a pint of ice cold Guinness.