A blizzard and Irish leftovers: Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

by Terry B on March 15, 2017


For the first time since 1871, Chicago had no measurable snowfall in January or February. So less than a week before the nominal beginning of spring, of course, we got seven inches. This was the view from my office window yesterday. You know, Tuesday. The day I’m often scrambling to create the post—and often produce the recipe—you find here on Wednesday. I had a recipe of sorts in mind, but the fierce snow and an admitted lack of willpower on my part stood between me and some necessary ingredients. So instead, I’m serving up a hearty lamb stew posted here several years ago, also during a Chicago March snowstorm.

Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables

To me, stews are one of the great culinary inventions. Hearty, comforting and warming on even the most blustery days—and delicious on an almost elemental level. This Irish lamb stew pushes all those buttons, combining chunks of lamb, potatoes, carrots and turnips, dark beer and broth, butter, onion, garlic, a couple of herbs and an hour and a half or so of cooking time into just what you need. You’ll find the recipe right here.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

John/Kitchen Riffs March 15, 2017 at 8:24 am

Definitely a weird winter. It’s 17 degrees this morning! Really cold compared to January and February, and on the cold side for a normal March. So for us it was soup for dinner last night. Wish I had thought to do a nice lamb stew like this!

Dani H March 15, 2017 at 8:27 pm

We have the opposite situation here in Phoenix with high temps already ninety degrees or more. I’m gearing up for salad mode. And Mexican food no matter what time of year.

Hope this is your last snow of the season.

Mellen March 16, 2017 at 3:34 am

Spring has come early to the Périgord. All the fruit trees have been in bloom for at least a week, and the valley is a haze of pink and white blossoms, interspersed with forsythia and wildflowers. It’s been 80F and over for the past week, with one gentle overnight rain. Birdlife is rife.

We are continuing our tradition of introducing our neighbors to culinary adventures that are new to them and tomorrow night are hosting a St-Patrick’s Day dinner with an appetizer of smoked haddock (we may turn it into a spread of some kind, but it seems to hold up very well on its own) on rye, a soup of cheddar, bacon, beer and leeks, a Guiness lamb stew, and a watercress salad. Oh, and I’ll try my pathetic baking hand at soda bread (if it doesn’t work will just run into town and pick up a multigrain boule). Neighbors who know we are useless at desserts will bring something to offer.

There will be fig wine and peach wine and strawberry wine for apéros and plenty of Guiness and Irish whisky for those who wish to imbibe, but DUI laws being what they are here, no one will have more than a sip.

Off to start the stew, as it’s always better made a day ahead, and to locate some appropriate background Celtic music. Should be an interesting evening.

Marion March 16, 2017 at 6:43 pm

Mellen, that sounds just perfectly lovely.

Terry B March 16, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Thanks, all! And Mellen, I absolutely agree with Marion.

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