Lamb Stew With White Beans
With Rosemary and Sliced Carrots
- Servings: 4 to 6.
This stew is adapted from a recipe in the first edition of Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes, published in 1999. In a nod to Italian stews, creamy white cannellini beans take the place of the more traditional white potatoes that are typical of Irish lamb stews, although you could easily cook thick slices of Yukon Gold potatoes and serve them alongside the stew.
When buying your stew meat, be sure to confirm with the butcher that it's lamb shoulder. Some butcher shops and meat departments use leg of lamb and while easier to trim and tasty, this cut become tougher and less flavorful when used in a stew.
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder stew meat, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup)
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 to 4 cups chicken stock, home-made or good quality boxed stock or broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3/8-inch slices (about 3 cups)
- 1 15-ounce can white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- Pre-heat oven to 250° F.
- Place lamb pieces in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper, tossing to coat.
- Using a large, ovenproof Dutch oven that has a cover, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat and working in two or three batches, brown the lamb on all sides, about 3 to 6 minutes per batch. Add the last tablespoon of oil as needed. Hold the browned pieces of lamb aside.
- Add the minced onion to the empty Dutch oven and cook until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until the flour is absorbed and lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
- Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits, and cook about 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups of chicken stock, bay leaves, and rosemary and bring to boil and immediately reduce to a simmer. Return all the lamb to the Dutch oven, adding up to an additional cup of stock so that the lamb is almost completely covered. Cover and place in the oven and cook for 1 hour.
- After an hour of cooking, add the carrots to the pot, replace the cover and return to the oven and cook for another 1 hour, until the meat is almost tender.
- Add the white beans to the pot and gently stir so that the beans get distributed with the lamb and carrots. Replace the cover and return the pot to the oven and cook until the lamb is completely tender and the beans are completely heated through, about 15 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, discard the bay leaves, taste for seasoning, and either serve immediately or cool and store refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Optional: peel 3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes and slice into 3/4-inch pieces. Cook in salted water for about 10 to 15 minutes until tender. Drain and serve with the lamb stew.
This stew goes well with a salad of winter greens like escarole or watercress, and with steamed green vegetables like broccolini, Swiss chard or kale.