Hearty Lamb Stew Recipe

Lamb stew with mashed potato and beans

Warming stews are often just what we need in mid-winter to keep our strength up, and this one is particularly delicious and quite simple. It works well with stewing lamb, but you could use beef instead if you prefer.

Bear in mind that the secret of a good stew is a lengthy cooking time, so choose a day when you know you’ll be at home for a while and can keep an eye on it. The yummy aroma as it cooks will keep you salivating until it’s ready!

If you want to bulk the stew up further, you can add more carrots, potatoes, or any other vegetables you like e.g. turnips, aubergines or even peas, broccoli or beans. Add any green vegetables only about 10 minutes before serving though, unless you want them to be mushy.

I personally like to remove the bones before serving or freezing the stew, especially as the meat should be falling off them when it’s done. If you prefer to do it caveman style though and leave them in, feel free.

The stew can be served with any starch like potato, sweet potato or rice, or simply with lots of vegetables like beans, broccoli or cauliflower (or even with cauliflower rice, if you’re feeling adventurous).


  • 750g stewing lamb, cut up into chunks
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 potato, peeled and cubed
  • 6T olive oil
  • 3T plain flour
  • 400g tin peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small packet or tin tomato paste
  • 1c wine – preferably red, but white will work too
  • 3 stalks fresh rosemary
  • 3 stalks fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 lime leaves (optional)
  • Beef stock – 6t Ina Paarman beef stock or 3 Knorr beef stock pots or a mixture of both
  • Boiling water


Prepare the vegetables, although you can do the potato later if you like.

Prepare onions, carrots and garlic

Heat 3T of olive oil in a big pot on medium heat and add the onion, carrot and garlic.

Add onion, carrot and garlic to heated oil

Sauté until the onion starts to soften and look transparent.

Onion softened and starting to look transparent

Then transfer all the vegetables from the pot into another bowl or plate.

Transfer vegetables out of pot

In the meantime, place the flour and lamb in a largish bowl and mix around until all the lamb is coated with flour (or place the flour and the lamb in a bag and shake it around).

Lamb coated with flour

Heat the remaining 3T of olive oil on medium heat and add the lamb.

Add coated lamb to pot

Gently brown the lamb, turning regularly till most of the surfaces are light brown, with perhaps just a little pinkness left in places.

Mostly browned lamb

While the lamb is browning, you can prepare the potato if you haven’t already.

Peel and chop potato

When the lamb is ready, return the vegetables to the pot, and add the potato, tinned tomato and tomato paste, wine, herbs and stock.

Add remaining ingredients

Pour boiling water over to just cover it all.

Just cover with water

Then stir it all together.

Stir everything together

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat so it’s just simmering. Simmer for 2 – 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes or so.

Simmering stew

When it’s cooked, the liquid will be much reduced and the lamb should be very tender, literally falling off the bone. If not, cook it a bit longer – it does depend on the cut of meat. When it’s done, remove the herb stalks, as well as the bones if you prefer.

Cooked lamb stew

Serve with mashed potato, sweet potato or rice, and/or green vegetables.

Lamb stew with mashed potato and beans

This dish also freezes really well, either as a whole or in handy portions. It can be defrosted and then reheated on the stove or in a covered dish in the oven.


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© Alexandra Lawrence and Inspired Nourishment, 2014


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