Maybe it’s the rainy weather this week or me trying to manifest cooler fall weather to show up, but I really wanted stew. So, I had some lamb meat and vegetables in my Imperfect Foods box and came up with this lamb stew. I pulled inspiration for this stew from the beef stew my grandma makes and my love of beef bourguignon. So, if you don’t have lamb, you can absolutely use beef.
My paternal grandma makes a wonderful beef stew. It’s basically beef, vegetables, stock, and a bay leaf. The vegetables she uses in her stew are potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions, celery, and green beans. Green beans were my grandpa’s favorite vegetable. Somehow her stew is hearty and light at the same time and all of us grandkids go crazy for it. Especially when grandma’s rolls come with it. I love a good buttered roll dipped in the stew goodness at the bottom of a bowl.
Now, I also love the richness of beef bourguignon. Beef bourguignon is a simple french stew of beef, carrots, and onions braised in red wine. Since I first made beef bourguignon, I’ve added red wine to my stew about 90% of the time. The remaining 10% is reserved for when I make an Irish-style stew and use beer instead of wine.
To start making the stew, season the meat with salt and pepper and then sear it to develop some color and flavor. You don’t have to cook it all the way through at this stage, it will do plenty of cooking in the pot with all of the other stew components. Set it aside so that you can work on the mirepoix.
My mirepoix may look a little different than some. When I’m making a stew I finely dice the celery. This is because I really don’t like the texture of celery. By chopping it so small, it nearly disappears by the end of cooking. I also keep the carrots in larger chunks, because carrots are one of my favorite and I want them to hold up against the cooking time. The onions I chop in a mixture of medium and large dice. I also like having some pieces of onion make it through the cooking process.
Once the mirepoix is softened, add the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and red wine, using these liquids to deglaze the pan. Basically, just scrape up any bits that have stuck to the bottom. You’ll then add the herbs, tomato sauce, and beef stock. Now, some stews call for tomato paste, but I more often keep tomato sauce in my pantry than tomato stock. If you use tomato paste in this recipe, you will want to add it before adding the mustard and red wine so that the tomato paste can deepen in color and flavor before adding the other ingredients. You’ll also add the meat back in at this point. Then just simmer it until the meat is tender and the stew is to your desired consistency.
- 1 onion diced
- 2-3 celery stalks diced
- 2-3 carrots diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb lamb stew meat
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups red wine
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 2-3 cups beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a dutch oven or large stew pot. Season the stew meat with salt and pepper and add to the stew pot.
- Sear the lamb stew pieces until they are brown on each side and then remove from the pot, setting aside.
- Prepare the onion, celery, and carrots for the mirepoix and add to a large pot or dutch oven with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Saute the mirepoix until the vegetables start to soften and the onions and celery start to turn translucent.
- Once the mirepoix starts to soften, add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and the red wine. Use the moisture from the sauce and wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up all of the browned bits from the bottom.
- Next, add the herbs, tomato sauce, and beef stock.
- Add the meat back to the pot and simmer the stew on low for at least 1 hour until the stew meat is tender.
- Serve with a piece of bread and enjoy!