I do love a good stew, especially now the nights have grown cold. Having something warm and comforting to come home to is just the ticket after a hard nights work. I made this last Monday when you need something extra special to get you through that first day of work. I served it in a giant Yorkshire pudding as it was international Yorkshire pudding day. I used lamb chops that I bought at the foreign food market for this. I’m not sure they were really the right cut, as they were a bit thin so I will try something else next time. But by the time they had cooked they were soft and tender and the stew was full of flavour. Lovely lamb stew served in a giant Yorkshire pudding with an episode of Downton Abbey to watch and Monday isn’t looking so bad.
500g of lamb chops
1 stick of celery
1 bay leave
1 small bunch of fresh herbs (if not used dried)
1/2 a large courgette
3 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
440ml of Guinness (or dark ale)
2 liters of stock (I used vegetable)
140g plain flour
The start of a good stew is always a good stock. I never throw away any meat bones without making them into stock. Add an onion, some celery, a carrot, and a few cloves of garlic to some water boiling water and it’s done. You can also save all your vegetable peelings and scraps in a little pot in the fridge and add those in too. I store all my stock in the freezer, so I always have some on hand. If you don’t have stock you can just use the cubes instead.
Cut your lamb into bite sized chunks, then toss in seasoned flour. Fry them on a medium heat in a little oil until the sides have browned then remove from the pan. Do this in small batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan.
Chop your onion and garlic and fry off in the meat pan for a couple of minutes, then chop and add the carrot. Fry for a further minute before adding the carrot, onion, garlic and meat chunks to a large saucepan. Add the Worcestershire sauce, herbs,stock, and can of Guinness, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat as low as possible. Let the stew simmer for an hour,stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Then chop the potatoes and courgette add them in too. Simmer for another hour or two. I know this sounds vague but it depends upon the cut of the meat. It needs to be cooked until it is soft, tender, and falls apart from the bone. Add salt, pepper and more herbs to taste.
For the Yorkshire pudding I used Gordon Ramsay’s recipe and it never fails me. To make the batter, put the flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper, then pop it into the fridge for 30 minutes or more. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Then put some oil into the tins and put them in the oven to heat up. I used some of those little disposable round foil tins that you seem to find everywhere. They only have a 2cm inch edge but it didn’t seem to stop them rising. Once the oil is hot, pour the batter into the tins. Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Fill with your stew and serve immediately. Voilà delicious lamb stew.