St. Patrick's Day doesn't mean just serving up corned beef. This rich, thick gravy Guinness Irish Stew has lamb or beef layered with flavors due to a slow braise in Guinness beer, vegetables and herbs. Plus it's made all in one pot!
Peel and cut up carrots and potatoes, mince garlic. Trim root end off leeks, strip off tough greens. Cut leeks lengthwise and rinse any grit off under water. Slice into 1/2" pieces. Cut the lamb into 2" chunks. Pat dry and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a Dutch oven or heavy based pot over high heat. Add lamb in batches and brown well all over. Remove to plate and repeat with remaining lamb. Set aside.
Lower heat to medium and add remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion and leek, cook for 3 minutes until softened, then add garlic, cook 2 minutes. Stir flour into the vegetable mixture and cook for 3 more minutes.
Add Guinness beer (See Note 1 and 2), stirring and scraping up browned bits on bottom of pan then add beef broth.
Return browned lamb to the pot, including any juices, along with carrots, potatoes and thyme tied with kitchen twine.
If lamb and vegetables are not fully covered add enough water to do so. Cover, bring to a boil, stir then lower heat so it is bubbling gently. Cook 2 hours then remove lid and simmer for 30 minutes more until lamb falls apart and the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove thyme bundle and serve with crusty bread.
Substitute Guinness beer using 2 1/2 cups water mixed with 2 beef boullion cubes and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce. Not the same, but will due. See below regarding alcohol burned off if concerned.
When slow-cooking food in beer at a low simmer for several hours most of the alcohol will evaporate away. The boiling point of alcohol is 173°F which is lower than that of water, 212°F.The United States Department of Agriculture states, simmering beer alone for 2.5 hours will remove 95 percent of the alcohol it contains, leaving 5 percent of the original alcohol content behind.