Lamb Stew with Butternut Squash

By • January 7, 2013 • 27 Comments



Serves 6 to 8

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pound lamb shoulder, in 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cups roughly chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 28 ounces chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch)
  1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb with salt, and when the oil is hot brown half of the cubes on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the lamb to a plate with a slotted spoon and add more oil if necessary. Brown the rest of the lamb and then remove that from the pot as well.
  2. Turn down the heat to medium low and add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pot. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. (Make sure not to let the garlic color too much.)
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, herbs and the browned lamb, along with any juices that have accumulated. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to get up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. When the stew comes to a boil, cover the pot and put it in the oven. Cook until the lamb is just tender, 2 to 3 hours.
  5. Stir the butternut squash into the stew, re-cover it and return the pot to the oven until the squash is tender, another 20 to 25 minutes.

Tags: butternut squash, cooking for clara, lamb, stew, winter

Comments (27) Questions (2)

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3 months ago KtMcB

I made this tonight and it was fabulous! Very easy to make and I know it will be even better tomorrow. Mine was vey flavorful. I used lamb from Taylor Farm in Londonderry Vt. I added mushroom sauted in butter towards the end.

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6 months ago Sarah

Have to be honest despite adding more garlic and probably more herbs than in the recipe I found this extremely bland and disappointing for how long it took to cook. Like other comments it was completely dry after 1.5 hours and I had to add a lot more water to save it. Using similar ingredients I could of made something far tastier.

Merrill

6 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

I don't think others mentioned a problem with dryness (although a couple people used leg of lamb and noted that it takes less time to cook), and this amount of liquid really should be plenty. Does your pot have a tight-fitting lid? Also, see Ellen's comment below for some good ideas re: how to add more flavor.

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6 months ago Sarah

Merrill thank you so much for responding-I think you may be spot on re the lid. I used a saucepan with its lid and that probably made the difference to the liquid. I think a dash of red wine would likely deepen the flavor very well as Ellen has suggested. I will try again as the lamb shoulder-a cut I would never normally buy- was delicious. Thank you!

Merrill

6 months ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope it turns out better the second time!

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6 months ago Robin J

Oh, this was sooo good. I made it for my book group, and the 5 of us (usually not very large eaters) finished it off. Made it according to the recipe, using good canned tomatoes, though I cut the squash into much larger pieces (maybe 2") and it still cooked in the stated time. Next time I will cut the carrots larger (more like the pictures), but not make any other changes.

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8 months ago za'atar

This is a nice, hearty stew recipe. I used beef instead of lamb because I was feeding 30 and couldn't afford lamb shoulder, but I can't wait to try it again this winter with lamb. I didn't have room in the oven so I cooked it on the stove top at a low simmer for about 90 minutes.

Stringio

8 months ago NatWhit

PS I didn't have any problem with squash-- it was tender within 20 - 25 minutes as suggested in the recipe.

Stringio

8 months ago NatWhit

I just made this and it was delicious. I couldn't find lamb shoulder, so I used leg of lamb. As Hippo Flambe noted, it does not require as long to cook (I wish I'd read your comment earlier!). When I checked the stew at 2 hours, the lamb was falling apart, and while it hadn't turned dry and stringy yet, was probably finished at least a half hour before I checked on it-- in other words, after 1.5 hours. If I make this with leg of lamb again, I'll probably check it after about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes.

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9 months ago Ellen

I made this for company last night. It was excellent! I di make a couple of changes. Chicken stock instead if beef, because canned beef stock is usually not great. I cubed and roasted the butternut squash ( olive oil, salt, pepper) it got nicely caramelized and I stirred into the stew just before serving. Added a splash of red wine at the end too.

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9 months ago kayakgirl

oh, I also forgot (forgive the double post). I actually used pumpkin (peeled). I think any winter squash would work great- will also sub with blue hubbard in future.

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9 months ago kayakgirl

Very good inspiration recipe. Quite tasty, hearty, versatile. I actually used venison instead of lamb with good results. To answer the inquiries about tomatoes: I am strongly opposed to fresh toms in the winter. I used some frozen ones instead (in the summer when abundant I freeze skin and all- works great in chilli and stews and is so much easier than canning). I think canned would just as well if not better than fresh. My only criticism was that the squash took closer to 1.5 hour to cook. This was actually a 2 night dinner (started it last night, put in fridge and finished tonight). I finally had to put on the stove top and boil it down to get dinner on the table.

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9 months ago annb123

I live full time in an RV and this receipe sounds devine made in a slow cooker. How many hours in a slow cooker?

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9 months ago When_Do_We_Eat

Beth-
I made this today and used hand-crushed canned San Marzano whole tomatoes. I just tasted before adding the squash. You won't mind any difference.

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9 months ago Beth Trudell

Could I use canned chopped tomatoes during the winter when tomatoes are not as fresh tasting?

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9 months ago Keyscook

Could you do this without the tomatoes? I'm on a prescribed anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory food regimen, and tomatoes are out. Occasional grass fed red meat in "in", and I can get that where I live. How would you adjust for balance with no tomatoes? Thank you.

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10 months ago neighome

This is just coming out of the oven at 10pm, so I'll have to wait until lunch tomorrow to have a proper serving. But my little sneak bites (to check for seasoning!) are delicious. I used only about 3/4 lb lamb shoulder and tossed the bones into the stew for extra flavor. deanna1001 has a good idea with the lemon zest as the stew is rich. I plan to eat it with blanched chard. Lest you get the idea that I'm some sort of virtuous veggie eater, you should know that I browned the meat in rendered fat from the shoulder trimmings. Next time I will double the recipe!

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over 1 year ago deanna1001

Made this last night. Big hit. Added a little lemon zest and parsley to finish it. Served over noodles. Delish!

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over 1 year ago theresa chan

Any other cut of lamb can be used? Shoulder cut is preferred over say shank ?

Robin_40_small_1_of_1_

over 1 year ago Hippo Flambe

I am currently making it with leg of lamb. I have other recipes for lamb stew that call for leg of lamb, the main difference is it will take less time to cook. Shank would be fine as well, you may need to adjust the cooking time some. Look at some lamb shank recipes for an idea of timing.

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over 1 year ago carol s weinstein karlin

you are most welcome! i love that your daughter eats this! my children, 15 and 13, love this sort of dish.

Merrill

over 1 year ago Merrill Stubbs

Merrill is a co-founder of Food52.

Carol, thanks so much for answering these questions -- I agree with all of your comments. And I would add the squash at least an hour and a half before the rest of the stew is done.

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over 1 year ago carol s weinstein karlin

steps one and two as listed. them put everything in the cooker, on a slow heat. you can, of course, put everything in the cooker from the start, but the onions, carrots and garlic will be that much nicer, after the pan. the squash will need to go in earlier for it to cook and soften.

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over 1 year ago carol s weinstein karlin

sorry, this was supposed to answer kmmetaylor

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over 1 year ago Courtney Weaver

I bought some lamb stew meat with the bones on yesterday - can I sub that?

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over 1 year ago carol s weinstein karlin

i usually only buy lamb with bones, and find that i get a thicker sauce. the meat will fall off the bones, and you can remove them.