For red meat eaters, beef is usually the cut of choice in our culture. However, venison, lamb and goat are just as popular in other cultures, especially when it comes to stew. Goat and venison may be a little hard to find in our neighborhood, but Schnucks usually has a good selection of cuts for lamb lovers. Our favorite lamb dish is still Roasted Leg of Lamb. However, lamb stew is quickly becoming a runner up in our household.

Although this recipe is for lamb stew, the meat can be replaced by another other type of red meat. Vegetarians may also just skip the meat all together and the result is a great vegetable stew. Even though the recipe calls for beef soup base, we prefer "Better Than Bouillon" brand of soup bases because they offer a vegetarian "No Beef" flavor which contains no meat products, very little salt and no MSG.

We prefer our stew to have a thick, rich broth, but instead of using flour as a thickener, I prefer to add an extra potato or two, diced into tiny cubes. If the diced potato is put into the pot first, by the time the stew is ready, these small chunks of potatoes have already melted and thickened the broth.

As for veggies, carrots and celery are the traditional stew vegetables because they can withstand simmering for long periods of time. However, whatever veggies are in your refrigerator can also be added to the stew as long as you time it so that the veggies don't get overcooked. On the day I made this stew, I happened to have a couple heads of bok choy laying around, so I threw them in last. As it turns out, they were such a great addition, I think I'll make sure to always include it in the future.

Lamb Stew
(Preparation time: 60 minutes; serves 6)

  • * 1 lb lamb (stew cut or shoulder or leftovers)
  • * 2 tbs canola oil
  • * 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • * 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • * ½ cup red wine
  • * 4 cups water
  • * 2 red potato, diced
  • * 2 tbs beef soup base
  • * 1 cup carrots, diced
  • * 1 cup celery, diced
  • * 1 can tomatoes, diced (14 oz)
  • * 1 tbs rosemary
  • * 2 tbs oregano
  • * salt and pepper to taste
  • * 6 red potatoes, quartered
  • * 1 zucchini, diced
  • * 2 heads bok choy, chopped
  • * ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. in a pan, brown lamb in canola oil (if necessary)

2. remove meat (and chop into cubes if necessary)

3. sauté onion in meat drippings and oil until brown

4. add garlic and sauté about one more minute

5. add red wine, transfer ingredients to large pot

6. add water, lamb, diced potatoes, beef base and bring to a boil

7. add carrots, celery, tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper and bring to a boil again

8. let simmer for 20 minutes, then add cubed potatoes, zucchini and bring to a boil again

9. let simmer for 20 minutes, then add bok choy and parsley and bring to a boil again