Winter is coming and the cold days that come with it as well. It’s that time of the year when everybody is craving for warm comfort food.
A few days ago, my best friend Marine came over to my place together with her boyfriend for dinner. I know Marine for about 10 years. About 3 years ago she came to visit me for the first time in Amsterdam and completely fell in love with the city… about a year later she moved to Amsterdam (which made me a very lucky girl!) and signed up for a Physiotherapy school in town.
Now you must be thinking: ” Why the hell is Raphaelle telling me all this?”
Thing is, Marine is still a student and therefore when she comes over I just feel like I need to take care of her and make her the most comforting meals to balance her student pasta/salad diet.
So my brief for the night was comfort food, slow cooking & meat so that I could please her but also the men around the table! And so the answer to the brief was Guiness lamb stew.
Guiness lamb shanks stew served with potato mash and a fresh mint dressing
Serves: 4 persons
Cooking Time: Prep time 20 mins, cook 3 hrs.
– 2 red onions, peeled
– olive oil
– sea salt and ground pepper
– 2 handfuls of raisins
– 2 heaped tbsps of thick-cut marmalade
– 1 heaped tbsp tomato ketchup
– 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 200ml Guiness
– 4 lamb shanks (about 350gr each)
– a handful fresh rosemary sprigs
– 1 litre organic chicken stock
– a small bunch of fresh mint leaves
– 2 spring onions, trimmed
– 1,5kg potatoes, peeled and cut in 4
– 50ml cream
– 20 gr butter
Finely chop the onions and put them into a really large frying pan (should at least be 12-14cm deep), with a lug of olive oil and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Cook over a medium heat, stirring as you go, until the onions start to caramelize. Add the raisins and marmalade, then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and Guiness.
Give it all a good stir, then leave to gently simmer.
Put the lamb shanks into a large stew pot (at least 30cm wide) on a medium to high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Turn them every few minutes until they have a good dark brown colour.
Pick in the rosemary leaves and move them around in the pan to get crispy.
Now move the onion-guiness mix into the stew pan and add the chicken stock.
Put the lid on, turn down the heat and leave to blip away slowly for at least 3hours. The meat should fall off the bone easily. Try to turn the shanks halfway through so they cook evenly.
About 30min before the lamb is cooked, make the potato mash. Put the potatoes in a casserole-type pan with 3litres cold water, a good pinch of salt and cook them for 15min once the water is boiling.
Mash the potatoes together with the cream and butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the mash is ready put the lid on and keep warm.
Quickly bash most of the mint leaves in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt and the olive oil.
Finely slice up the spring onions.
It’s time to serve and therefore to plate your dish. First the potato mash, then the lamb shanks and then toss the spring onion and mint dressing on top. Finally scatter a few fresh mint leave all over the top.
Bon appétit! The plate will be clean before you know it.
Quite easy honestly – just pair the dish with the same beer you used for the stew. I used Guiness in my recipe but any other good dark ale will do the trick if you can’t find any.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion: