I’ve had a lamb shoulder roast in my freezer from the good people at Lava Lake Lamb, but I kept finding myself short on time during the weekends to give it the slow-cooked treatment in the oven. This week, I finally gave it the slow-cooked treatment – in the crockpot – so I didn’t have to be home while it got all tender and awesome and fabulous. Score!
The stout (you’ll notice I didn’t call this a Guinness roast because I actually didn’t use Guinness but Nitro) and lamb combo makes this pretty Irish (as Irish as a full-blooded Greek person and non-Irish stout get, anyway). So, this is obviously a great choice for St. Patrick’s Day (as is this shepherd’s pie), but it’s really good any time of year. It’s also highly adaptable and really you can use lamb, beef, a shoulder roast, stew meat, whatever. I wanted to stir in some peas at the end (I told you peas get added to a lot of our meals at the end!), but we were out.
Originally, I planned on making this a stew rather than a roast, so I started cutting the lamb off the bone. Then I realized, 1. I did not feel like doing this at 10:30 p.m.; 2. There is no way I’d be able to get ALL the meat off and I would be very sad to see any lamb lost and; 3. The bone will just add more flavor to the whole meal. So, I stopped cutting and ended up with a few random chunks of lamb and then the rest of the roast on the bone. :) Much easier that way if you ask me, but obviously if you already have stew meat that will work here (without a bone, though, you will want to use only about 1.5 – 2 lbs. of meat).
Slowcooker Lamb and Stout Roast
3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into sixths
3 carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
4 celery ribs, cut into thick slices
1/2 lb. cremini mushrooms, halved
2 bay leaves
1 (2.5 – 3 lb.) bone-in lamb shoulder roast (or a beef roast, or lamb stew meat)
1/2 cup flour
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
12 oz. stout beer
1/2 cup beef broth
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley
cornstarch slurry (optional)
Place the potatoes, carrots, celery, and mushrooms into the slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper and nestle one of the bay leaves into the vegetables.
In a resealable bag or on a plate, mix the flour with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Dredge the roast or stew pieces into the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the lamb to the skillet and brown on all sides. Place on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker.
Add the onions to the pan and saute for 3-5 minutes, before stirring in the garlic and tomato paste; cook one minute. Stir in the stout and use a wooden spoon/utensil to scrape off all the browned bits from the pan. Add the broth, rosemary, thyme, and second bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper and then pour the mixture over the meat in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and season the sauce to taste. If desired, make a cornstarch slurry using about 2 tsp. cornstarch and 2-3 tsp. water and stir into the slow cooker, then turn to high. Cook for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Stir in the parsley. Serve the meat alongside the vegetables/sauce.