A Lighter Lamb Stew

March 24, 2021
18 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Homemade chicken stock and Guinness replace the thick, traditional gravy of many lamb stews and give this stew a broth-y sauce pepped up with lemon zest and fresh herbs. The finished stew is tender enough to be pulled apart with two spoons. Tip: add a little more stock when reheating leftovers. —Lizthechef

Test Kitchen Notes

This is exactly what I wanted after the heavy holiday meals I had been eating for the last few weeks; Lizthechef's light lamb stew is perfection. The broth is complex and flavorful -- really, this is more like a hearty soup. Roasting the lamb on a bed of vegetables flavored with herbs, stock, and Guinness yields a really tender piece of meat that is easily pulled apart with a fork. And I love that everything is done in the oven. I bet this would be just as good made with a beef roast! —sdebrango

What You'll Need
  • 1 24-ounce bag of baby Dutch potatoes
  • 4 Large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 Large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 3-pound boneless lamb roast
  • 1 6-inch piece fresh rosemary
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 5 sprigs flat-leaved parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 Garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 11 or 12-ounce bottle Guinness beer
  • 2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups large frozen green peas
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Layer the potatoes, then the carrots and onions in a large, heavy-bottomed pot.
  3. Remove the netting from the lamb, open up the roast and place it, cut side down, on top of the vegetables. Using your hand, coat the roast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Combine the rosemary, thyme and parsley into a small bundle and tie with kitchen string. Tuck it under the lamb.
  5. Sprinkle the lemon zest and garlic over the lamb.
  6. Pour beer and chicken stock over the vegetables.
  7. Cover and cook for 3 hours. Add the mushrooms and cook for 30 minutes more.
  8. Remove pot from oven, add the peas and cover for 5 more minutes.
  9. Remove the herb bundle. Using 2 spoons or forks, pull the lamb apart into pieces and serve with the vegetables.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • tastysweet
  • N.
  • Kate
  • MQAvatar
  • NancyfromVictoria

27 Reviews

aliciaod January 4, 2024
Recipe works perfectly (I too was worried about how tender the meat would be in the end, but it fell apart into chunks that didn't even require a knife to handle) and, with just a green salad and a crusty loaf of bread I made earlier in the day, this stew made for the simple yet elegant meal I was hoping to serve on Christmas Eve.
[email protected] January 11, 2023
Prep is easy for this delicious stew. Flavors were well balanced and the lamb was fall-apart tender. I used a boneless leg of lamb as well, and it worked out great.
[email protected] January 11, 2023
I tried it as written, and it worked well. I was afraid of washing the seasonings off the lamb, but it didn't. All I can say is that the recipe worked to perfection as written.
tastysweet January 8, 2023
Doesn’t make more sense to pour the liquids over the veggies before you place the lamb on it?
denise&food January 13, 2021
This is a delicious lamb dish that is so easy to make. I made it with a boneless leg of lamb(3.5 lb) and it was so so flavorful.
It is a one pot meal and very light. Definitely try it!
N. May 4, 2019
Crazy easy and crazy delicious. Yesterday I made this recipe almost to the letter (I just used fresh English peas as opposed to frozen, and more mushrooms than it called for) with a lamb shoulder and it was fall off the bone, succulent, juicy, to-die-for comfort eating. Having a lot of jus as opposed to a thick gravy made it all the better in my opinion, and it didn't sit heavy. Fantastic for a cold night out, an end of the week meal, family night or a low-key event for guests.
Kate November 11, 2018
It was very easy to cook. I ended up using 3 1/2 lumb leg on the bone and cooking for 5 hours total (including the mushrooms and peas) in the dutch oven. It ended up falling off the bone delicious. I like the recipe because it does not requires time checking on it. Great for busy days!
Emily D. April 1, 2017
This was easy and very tasty. Nice for St. Paddy's day if you don't want to eat Corned Beef.
shannonelizabeth February 20, 2016
Could this be made with pre-cubed 1-inch pieces of lamb neck?
AllyKrue January 4, 2016
Just made this tonight and it was delicious! The lamb had a great flavor. I used a 5 qt. dutch oven, although the ingredients just barely fit. A 7 qt. would have been easier. I suggest cooking the mushrooms before adding during the last 30 minutes of cooking (along with the pan juices) and cutting the onion and potatoes in wedges (as helpful commenter Le Bec Fin recommended in the questions section).
MQAvatar June 26, 2014
I tried this with lamb shanks (and tarragon and sage, since that's what I had around), then adjusted the recipe for pressure cooking. Delicious and really fast!
NancyfromVictoria November 22, 2013
Hi! I don't eat lamb - could beef be substituted? Many thanks.
Lizthechef November 22, 2013
Yes, I have done a pot roast with this.
Lizthechef November 10, 2013
Karin, I prefer low sodium chicken stock. Feel free to add some extra fresh, chopped parsley or thyme - a shot of low sodium soy sauce?
Karin L. November 11, 2013
Hi - thanks. love the idea of parsley and soy sauce. Karin
Karin L. November 10, 2013
Hello...what is a substitute for the beer that adds flavor, but not alcohol?
[email protected] January 11, 2023
The alcohol cooks off.
anne November 6, 2013
Can I use the slow cooker for this recipe? Would I have to cook the Guinness in a pan first before I dump it in with the rest of the ingredients?
Lizthechef November 6, 2013
It should work OK - and I would add the Guinness at the beginning of your cooking. But I have never tried the slow cooker for this recipe.
char&feather March 26, 2013
Which Guinness did you use? Bottle of Extra Stout or Canned Draught? Can't wait to make this!
Lizthechef March 29, 2013
I always prefer beer/stout in a glass bottle to a can. This is one great lamb recipe, I must say - the chicken stock really makes the difference.
Lizthechef January 15, 2013
Thank you so much for the testing and Community Pick - I am just home from vacation and apologize for having missed this earlier -
Midge January 10, 2013
I've a lamb shoulder in my freezer that's got this written all over it. Can't wait.
Midge January 24, 2013
We loved this. Thanks for a keeper!
Lizthechef January 24, 2013
Glad you liked it -
healthierkitchen January 10, 2013
Mmmmmm! Love the lemon zest touch.
Lizthechef December 12, 2012
Where's my photo? Loaded it twice...