I know you all think I’m weird because I don’t like soup. But spooning hot liquid into my mouth (and spilling it down my face, because that’s how I roll) is not my idea of a good time. I do, however, have a fondness for stew. Especially stew with beer in it, because beer is a great tenderizer of things. And because I like beer.
I’ve had this stewing lamb in my freezer for a while and I decided it was probably time I do something about it.
So I took it out, put it on a plate, and patted it dry with a paper towel.
Then, in a bowl, I took a small scoop of flour, added salt and pepper, and gave it a stir.
Into that I hucked the lamb cubes, and gave them a stir as well.
I heated up my trusty cast iron skillet with a few tablespoons olive oil inside. Then, shaking the excess flour off the lamb, I plopped it in the skillet to brown.
While that was going on I cut up some vegetables: carrots, an onion, and a package of mushrooms.
I didn’t have any potatoes, that classic stew thickener, so I decided to use rice. This wild rice blend from Trader Joe’s is excellent.
I took the browned lamb cubes out and put them on a plate to rest a few minutes.
Then I added a bit more oil to the pan and chucked in the vegetables, giving the onions a wee bit of a head start in the cooking.
Once they’ve softened you can add the rest.
Now you can chuck the meat back in. Then I plopped in some parsley, Newfoundland savoury, rosemary, and thyme. If I’d had sage I would have used that, just to make up the lyrics to that “Scarborough Fair” song.
I also added a few more tablespoons flour.
At this point I ran out of space in my pan so I transferred the contents of the skillet to a larger saucepan. I used a bit of beef broth to deglaze the pan a bit and poured that into the pot, along with the rest of the beef broth (about 3 cups).
Then came two cans of Guinness stout (minus a sip or two, for quality control of course).
Then the rice.
Then I brought it to a simmer, lowered the heat, and let that gently bubble away, stirring every so often, for about an hour.
Excellent. Even more so the next day.