Tonight’s culinary experiment is: Slow Cooker Stout Lamb Stew!
2 pounds lamb, cubed
2 bottles (24 oz total) stout (Deschutes Obsidian Stout in this case)
1.5 pounds small, whole red or “new” potatoes, cleaned (any small, waxy potato will do, actually, but they need to be bite-sized or close to it.)
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 pound small white mushrooms, whole (also bite-sized or close to it), cleaned and with the stems trimmed
2 springs fresh Savory (original recipe called for rosemary, but I can’t stand the stuff)
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 tbs canola oil
16 oz/1 small carton beef stock
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp hot paprika
to taste: kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, cayenne pepper
Start a large slow cooker on High, pour in the contents of both bottles of stout and add the garlic.
Heat a large pan to medium-low, add oil and sauté the onions until they start to turn golden.
While the onions are cooking, put the flour salt and black pepper in a clean, food grade paper bag (lunch sack is great). Shake about 6 pieces of the lamb at at time in the bag and set aside the floured chunks on a paper plate until you’ve dredged all the lamb bits in the flour mixture.
When the onions are nearly done, sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture from the bag. Toss the rest of the flour and the bag away. Stir the onions with the flour and then dump them into your slow cooker with the beer and garlic.
Add the Savory, Paprika, and Cayenne to the broth in the slow cooker and stir.
Brown the lamb in the pan the onions were in. If you need more oil, add a bit. Put the browned (not cooked!) lamb into the slow cooker. (You’ll have to do this in two batches unless you have a seriously industrial-sized pan.)
Deglaze the pan with the beef broth.
Add the mushrooms and potatoes to the slow cooker.
Pour the warm broth from the pan into the slow cooker, making sure the meat is covered (add more broth or water if you have to.)
Put on the lid, let cook for 1 hour, lower setting to Low and let cook for 4-6 more hours or until the meat is tender and the potatoes are done.
Since I just put the lid on, we’ll see how it goes….
**Alas, I went back and tasted the broth and the stout is so badly overhopped I had to throw it out and restart with plain beef broth. Bleh!