Wednesday, January 27, 2010

FruHubs Food: Irish Lamb Stew

The Frugal Hostess has really been falling down on the job lately, man.  All of the old standbys have been ignored, the faithful, go-to columns disregarded.  That ends today.  It's time for another installment of:

Have you ever noticed that FruHubs food tends to be brown?  Well, today is no different.  It is freaking cold in The Frugal Homestead today, and TFH has been whining about it and trying to put her cold hands in warm places like FruHubs' pockets all day.  He finally had enough and decided to bring it.  That's right.  He's bringing the stew.

Now, please note, FruHo is not a huge fan of stews as a family.  They tend to be gross and mushy and filled with yuck.  Just to ratchet the sacrilege up a few more notches, she also hates pot roast.  And cooked carrots (with some exceptions) and cinnamon.  And, she's never seen "The Princess Bride."  (Although, she's had that movie quoted to her enough times that she could probably recite the dialogue from start to finish.  Which is neither here nor there, except insofar as it underscores the number of traditionally beloved things that TFH does not relish.)

So, you may be wondering why The Frugal Hostess is so excited about her FruHubs' stew.  Here's why: It rules.  It's delicious.  It takes your breath away.  TFH has no idea how he is able to take things that, in lesser hands, are extra repugnant, and turn them into delicious magic, but that's exactly what he does.  And so can you.

1.5lb of lamb stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium onion [Seriously, what happens to all the large and small onions?  Recipes only ever ask for medium.  Does anyone even know what another size looks like?]
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 bay leaf [Another silly ingredient.  Make two batches of something - one with and one without a bay leaf - and see what happens.  Nothing, that's what.]
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of beef stock
1 can of Guinness
4 carrots, cut into bite-size pieces
4 white potatoes (about 1lb)
Salt, pepper, Worchestire, and Tabasco to taste


1.  Brown lamb in a Dutch over over medium-high heat.
2.  Add sliced onion and brown with meat (that has been salt-and-peppered) for two minutes.
3.  Add minced garlic and brown for a minute.
4.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and stir until liquid is absorbed and lamb is coated.  Everything will be super hot.
5.  Pour in beef stock and deglaze the yummy brown stuff sticking to the bottom.
6.  Put in spices and seasonings.
7.  Pour in can of Guinness, bring to a boil, stir once, then reduce heat to simmer.
8.  Simmer for 1-2 hours or until lamb is tender.
9.  Add carrots and potatoes to pot; let simmer for 30 more minutes or until fork tender. [This is the trick, dudes.  This is what takes stew from disgusting elementary school slop to glorious deliciosity.]
10.  Eat, lick bowl, and then eat more.

The Frugal Hostess is seriously SO.  FREAKING.  COLD. Please comment. You can also join the Frugalistas on Facebook for exclusive content, follow on Twitter @frugalhostess, or subscribe so that you always know when a new post appears.

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  1. I feel the exact same way about most stews but every now and then, one just hits you up so good you can't help but be slave to it. Also, what is the deal with bay leaves? What sort of flavor are the supposed to impart? Agreed on all accounts.

  2. Ya'll have obviously never used fresh bay leaves. Agreed those old dried out leaves you get from the spice isle have no flavor...but fresh... they impart a glorious and distinctive flavor and aroma to a stew or soup.
    BTW we grow them here at The Funny Farm. You wanna try some.

  3. Ah ha! Who knew! Well, I guess Leekfixer knew. Can you buy fresh bay leaves anywhere, or do you just have to grow 'em?

  4. you can buy them at the Decatur Farmers market. Please order in advance.


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