This week my Sunday Supper group is throwing a Spring Fling to celebrate spring recipes and my thoughts went immediately to lamb. It is the meat of choice in many cultures and countries for spring, as the weather starts to warm and the lambing begins.
We eat a lot of lamb at our house, whatever the season. It’s funny because in my growing up home, we never ate lamb. My grandmother thought it was too strong in flavor and she passed that prejudice on to my mother. It wasn’t until I started dating my British husband, that I discovered the delight of lamb and embraced the baaaah, as we used bleat when discussing lamb. Mom also didn’t like goat cheese for the longest time because she said she could taste the goat. My mother is a most adventurous eater, as I’ve written about here, so I am pleased to say that she got past her own childhood embargoes and will now eat both goat cheese and lamb chops. I am still working on her for leg of lamb or shoulder.
This stew starts with browning the lamb shoulder then adding onions, garlic and celery, along with Irish whiskey and lemon juice to the sticky pan. Then a long slow simmer makes sure that the meat is falling off the bones. When the nights are cold, as they still are in the frozen north of the US - never mind that we have passed the first official day of spring and it’s still SNOWING as I type this in Providence, Rhode Island - this dish will fill the kitchen with fragrant aromas and warm you, body and soul.
2.25 kg or almost 3 1/2 lb lamb shoulder, cut in thick slices
Flakey sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion
2-3 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic
Handful sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnishing before serving, if desired
1/4 cup or 60ml Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons or 30ml fresh lemon juice
3 medium sized potatoes or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people
1-2 medium sized carrots or more to stretch your lamb to feed more people
Season your lamb shoulder on both sides with a good sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Dice your onion, celery and garlic.
Pan-fry the lamb in a little olive oil, just a few pieces at a time, so you don’t crowd the pan and they can brown well.
Add the onions, celery and garlic to the pan and give it a good stir.
Add the lamb back to the pan, along with any meat juices that have accumulated on the plate.
Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and carrots and cut them into chunks. Keep them in a bowl of cool water until you are ready to add them to the pan.
When the lamb is tender, drain the potatoes and carrots and add them to the pan. Give the whole thing a good stir to coat the potatoes and carrot with the pan juices. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and add some water to almost cover the meat, if more liquid is needed.
Cover your pot again and simmer another hour or so. Check the salt and pepper and add more if necessary. Garnish with a few more sprigs of thyme, if desired.
I always serve my lamb stew over white rice because I may not have been raised on lamb but rice and gravy was a childhood staple. In this, my grandmother would have been in complete agreement. Nothing better for a still chilly spring Sunday Supper than rice and a rich gravy.
I must confess that I also chose to share this recipe because lamb stew is one of my husband's favorite dishes. It's our 29th wedding anniversary today and although I am in Providence making new memories with our daughters, it is never far from my mind that I owe all of this to him. All of it.
Are you ready for spring? I’ve got plenty of recipe inspiration for you today, along with our fabulous hosts, Valerie from Lifestyle Food Artistry and D.B. from Crazy Foodie Stunts and the Supper Sunday crew.
- Easter Egg Smoothie by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Home-made Limoncello by Manu's Menu
- Meyer Lemon Rosemary Martini by The Redhead Baker
- Asparagus and Roasted Garlic Hummus by Palatable Pastime
- Baked Lemon and Goat Cheese Dip by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Cauliflower Salad by Wallflour Girl
- Green Asparagus Soup with Seared Scallops by An Appealing Plan
- Panzanella Primavera by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Salmon Berry and Almond Salad with Lemon Honey Dressing by Family Foodie
- Skillet Spinach Artichoke Dip by Life Tastes Good
- Asparagus Gribiche by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Early Peas with Pearl Onions in Cream by Lifestyle Food Artistry
- Roasted Asparagus with Balsamic Mustard Vinaigrette by Food Done Light
- Sauteed Artichokes & Potatoes by Carrie's Experimental Kitchen
- Spring Green Rice by Magnolia Days
- Artichoke Pesto Pasta by PancakeWarriors
- Crispy Honey Chicken Spring Salad by Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
- Early Spring Risotto by Cooking Chat
- Honey Lemon Shrimp by Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Irish Lamb Stew by Food Lust People Love
- Perfect Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Chives by Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Quiche Florentine by Curious Cuisiniere
- Roasted Lamb Chops, Fontina Cheese Polenta with Asparagus and Mushrooms by Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Root Vegetable Risotto by Momma's Meals
- Spring Lemon Pasta by MealDiva
- Spring Pea & Chèvre Souffle by FoodieTots
- Spring Vegetable Risotto by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Salmon and Strawberry Spinach Salad with a Kentucky Maple Vinaigrette by Dandelion Greens
- Tilapia with Classic Pesto by Whole Food | Real Families
- Veal Stew with Spring Greens by The Texan New Yorker
- Berry Shortcakes by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Blueberry Coconut Macaroons by Pies and Plots
- Blueberry Rhubarb Muffins by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Carrot Cake Cookies by Noshing With The Nolands
- Carrot Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Gluten Free Healthy Hummingbird Cake by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Lemon Cream Pie with Girl Scouts Lemonade Cookie Crust by Our Good Life
- Lemon Meringue Pie by Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch
- Low-Fat Strawberry Muffins by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Matcha Strawberry Cake by Brunch with Joy
- Palm Sunday Easter Bread by Love and Confections
- Pretzels, Peanut Butter, and Beer Cake Recipe by Recipe for Perfection
- Sticky Carrot Squares by What Smells So Good?
- Three Berry Coconut Crispies by Simply Healthy Family
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