Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Winter is truly upon us. Last week we had some light snow in London which clearly indicated that December is here – for some reason I always associate snow to December although it has and does snow in spring here in the UK too. It reminded me that I needed to get this Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew up in time for the holiday season, I mean what can be easier than browning off a few ingredients in a pan, throwing them into a slow cooker and forgetting about it for the next 6 hours? It’s the perfect excuse to have a sofa day in front of the TV, munching on snacks and watching family movies with the clan while dinner sorts itself out. Agreed?

The concept of a slow cooker is to cook meats at a very low temperature over a long period of time, it is this process that results in fabulously tender, falling off the bone meat. Cheaper cuts of meat that can often be very tough are great for using in slow cooked recipes, they result in extremely tender and moist meat when cooked in this manner.

Having owned my slow cooker for about four years you’d be right to think I have a long list of recipes that are tried and tested, but the honest truth is I can count the number of times I have used this appliance on one hand. Yes, one. Not two. When I bought my slow cooker I convinced myself I NEEDED it in my life, I was going to use it at least once a week and it was going to change my cooking regime forever (meh). Having only used it a handful of times explains why I don’t have a list, or even a long one at that, but hey, I can always work towards that. #goals

Fast forward four years later, I pulled out my slow cooker from storage in September to try and develop a recipe seeing as I I now food blog – prior to this (and prior to my instagram/facebook page) I used the slow cooker on two separate occasions, each time following a couple of online recipes, neither of which really blew me away, which probably explains why the slow cooker has spent the last four years up in the loft.

I decided to try and work on developing a stew recipe that my family would love, and of course, you guys. I often develop recipes by taking inspiration from others and adding what I know is familiar to me and what works. Having a palate that has grown up on Asian/Bangladeshi foods means that I always want my food to be bursting with flavour, this doesn’t always translate as being heavy on spices in my case. Thankfully I can appreciate food that isn’t drowned in chilli but that will still make your mouth water and want more.

The method of cooking used in this recipe is called ‘braising’, this means frying off all the ingredients in fat at a high temperature prior to cooking everything in stock/liquid. The result is caramelised goodness which adds depth of flavour to the dish, the ingredients added then build upon these flavours, so it’s very important not to skip this process.

I find adding Indian spices elevates any sort of traditional English recipe, however I don’t always want the dish to taste like curry. Adding a hint of cumin and coriander to this dish just makes it better without necessarily making it too currified (is that even a word? Ok, it is now!). I love using garlic salt in my cooking too, it adds flavour without being too powerful since the garlic is dried and this recipe uses plenty of it.

My Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew may seem like it contains a lot of salt but seasonings tend to lose their strength during the long cooking process, so add the listed amounts, or if in doubt leave adding the seasoning till the very end and adjust to your taste. For us the salt was spot on but if you are on a low sodium diet, leave out the salt till the very end.

Using a slow cooker the cooking time of 6 hours is more than enough, 3 hours on high and another 3 hours on low. If you don’t own a slow cooker this recipe can also be cooked in the oven on a lower temperature in a lidded suitable oven proof dish; make sure you use less stock, use 1 pint instead of 1.5 pints, cook for 1 hour 30 mins – 2 hours, at gas mark 3, or until the meat is tender. Since I have not used the oven for this recipe, these are just guidelines and you may need to adjust the cooking time and temperature in order to get the meat tender.

I’m hoping many of you can recreate this dish with whatever cooking equipment you have at home and will love it, so let’s get started!

Serves 6

You will need: for Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

For frying meat:
1kg mutton/lamb
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp mixed herbs
2 tbsp flour
oil as needed

For the stew:
360g button mushrooms
3 carrots
3 potatoes
2 onions
1.5 pint stock (use 1 stock cube and dissolve in 1.5 pints of water)
2 tsp all purpose seasoning
1 tbsp English mustard
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Marmite (optional, if you add this use 1 tsp of salt instead of 1.5 tsp as this is quite salty)
1.5 tsp salt (reduce this to 1 tsp if you are using Marmite)
1 tsp garlic salt
2.5 tsp cornflour (dissolve in 2 tsp of cold water)
1 tbsp butter (optional, adds velvety texture)
3 – 4 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
2 – 3 sprigs of thyme

Method:

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

I have included a close up of all the ingredients here for you, note especially the spices used (bottom right photo).

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Start by adding the spices to 1kg of washed and drained meat; 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp coriander, 1/2 tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp mixed herbs and 2 tbsp flour. Mix the meat with the spices and ensure it is all thoroughly coated.

In a large frying pan add approx 2 tbsp of oil and heat to smoking point.

Add the meat and fry over the highest heat possible. We want to sear the meat and create a caramelised exterior, this translates as flavour!

DO NOT keep stirring the meat when you fry as this will prevent the meat from browning, only stir once you can see the meat browning/caramelising on the underside, then turn over and do the same.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

The top left photo shows you the kind of colour you should be aiming for, a deep brown colour but not burnt.

Once the meat has browned all over transfer it all to your slow cooker, place the lid back on top to keep warm.

Scrape off any brown sticky parts (bottom right photo) and add those in too, this is all flavour we want in our stew.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Next chop all of the remaining ingredients into large chunks; mushrooms, carrots, onions and potatoes. Keep all of the vegetables fairly big as they will reduce in size once cooked over a long period of time.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Again, add a light drizzle of oil to your pan and fry the remaining ingredients using the same method as before, aim for a brown colour on the outside of your vegetables.

Do this in batches to avoid the vegetables steaming and not browning properly.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker as you fry them and keep covered.

Next make up 1.5 pint of stock using 1 stock cube and 1.5 pints of boiling water.

Add the stock to the slow cooker.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Next add 2 tsp all purpose chicken seasoning, 1 tbsp English mustard, 1 tbsp Worcester sauce, 1 tsp ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp Marmite (this is optional but adds an intense rich flavour).

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Dissolve 2.5 tsp of cornflour in 2 tsp of water and add. This will help to thicken the gravy slightly and prevent the stew from being too watery.

Add 1.5 tsp salt (reduce this to 1 tsp if you add Marmite), 1 tsp garlic salt and 1 tbsp of butter, again the butter is optional but adds a velvety richness to the stew.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

Now give all the ingredients a good mix and finally add 3 – 4 bay leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary and 3 – 4 sprigs of thyme.

Cook the stew on high for 3 hours and then on low for another 3 hours, cooking on low will leave the meat tender and falling off the bone, so it’s important to not rush the cooking process. There is no need to uncover the stew during cooking, there is enough fluid in the slow cooker to prevent anything from burning. Leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work and enjoy the results.

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew

The finished stew should have a wonderful and slightly thick gravy which is perfect for mopping up with bread. The meat will be falling off the bone and the vegetables will be soft and tender.

You can enjoy the stew with dinner rolls or crusty bread, make sure there’s plenty of it, you’re gonna need it!

Braised Lamb and Vegetable Stew
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
For frying meat:
  • 1kg mutton/lamb
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • oil as needed
For the stew:
  • 360g button mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1.5 pint stock (use 1 stock cube and dissolve in 1.5 pints of water)
  • 2 tsp all purpose seasoning
  • 1 tbsp English mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp Marmite (optional, if you add this use 1 tsp of salt instead of 1.5 tsp as this is quite salty)
  • 1.5 tsp salt (reduce this to 1 tsp if you are using Marmite)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2.5 tsp cornflour (dissolve in 2 tsp of cold water)
  • 1 tbsp butter (optional, adds velvety texture)
  • 3 - 4 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
Method
  1. I have included a close up of all the ingredients here for you, note especially the spices used (bottom right photo).
  2. Start by adding the spices to 1kg of washed and drained meat; ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp coriander, ½ tsp garlic salt, 1 tsp mixed herbs and 2 tbsp flour. Mix the meat with the spices and ensure it is all thoroughly coated.
  3. In a large frying pan add approx 2 tbsp of oil and heat to smoking point.
  4. Add the meat and fry over the highest heat possible. We want to sear the meat and create a caramelised exterior, this translates as flavour!
  5. DO NOT keep stirring the meat when you fry as this will prevent the meat from browning, only stir once you can see the meat browning/caramelising on the underside, then turn over and do the same.
  6. The top left photo shows you the kind of colour you should be aiming for, a deep brown colour but not burnt.
  7. Once the meat has browned all over transfer it all to your slow cooker, place the lid back on top to keep warm.
  8. Scrape off any brown sticky parts (bottom right photo) and add those in too, this is all flavour we want in our stew.
  9. Next chop all of the remaining ingredients into large chunks; mushrooms, carrots, onions and potatoes. Keep all of the vegetables fairly big as they will reduce in size once cooked over a long period of time.
  10. Again, add a light drizzle of oil to your pan and fry the remaining ingredients using the same method as before, aim for a brown colour on the outside of your vegetables.
  11. Do this in batches to avoid the vegetables steaming and not browning properly.
  12. Transfer the vegetables to the slow cooker as you fry them and keep covered.
  13. Next make up 1.5 pint of stock using 1 stock cube and 1.5 pints of boiling water.
  14. Add the stock to the slow cooker.
  15. Next add 2 tsp all purpose chicken seasoning, 1 tbsp English mustard, 1 tbsp Worcester sauce, 1 tsp ground black pepper and ½ tsp Marmite (this is optional but adds an intense rich flavour).
  16. Dissolve 2.5 tsp of cornflour in 2 tsp of water and add. This will help to thicken the gravy slightly and prevent the stew from being too watery.
  17. Add 1.5 tsp salt (reduce this to 1 tsp if you add Marmite), 1 tsp garlic salt and 1 tbsp of butter, again the butter is optional but adds a velvety richness to the stew.
  18. Now give all the ingredients a good mix and finally add 3 - 4 bay leaves, 1 sprig of rosemary and 3 - 4 sprigs of thyme.
  19. Cook the stew on high for 3 hours and then on low for another 3 hours, cooking on low will leave the meat tender and falling off the bone, so it's important to not rush the cooking process. There is no need to uncover the stew during cooking, there is enough fluid in the slow cooker to prevent anything from burning. Leave the slow cooker to do all the hard work and enjoy the results.
  20. The finished stew should have a wonderful and slightly thick gravy which is perfect for mopping up with bread. The meat will be falling off the bone and the vegetables will be soft and tender.
  21. You can enjoy the stew with dinner rolls or crusty bread, make sure there's plenty of it, you're gonna need it!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

 

share post to:

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: