Your Life A to Z Recipe: Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 - Lamb Stew

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Ingredients
o    3 lbs lamb shoulder with a little fat, cubed
o    1/2 cup flour
o    3 large russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
o    3 large carrots, peeled and sliced
o    6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
o    2 large yellow onions, cut into large dice
o    3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
o    1 bunch fresh rosemary
o    1 bunch fresh thyme
o    1 bunch fresh parsley
o    2 quarts lamb (enough to cover) or 2 quarts beef stock ( enough to cover)
o    12 ounces Guinness stout
o    1 cup pearl barley (optional)
o    2 teaspoons cornstarch
o    salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions
1.    The barley is optional but it makes it even more traditional. Cook it in 3 cups of stock for 20 minutes then add it into the stew when you return the meat to the pot.
2.    Cut off some of the parsley leaves and chop enough to make 2 tablespoons; reserve. Cut off some parsley stems, and tie them into a bundle with a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme; reserve.
3.    Season the meat with salt and brown the meat in a little oil. Remove and reserve, and sprinkle with a little flour, shaking off excess. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the pan and sauté, tossing to coat with the fat. Add the Guinness and deglaze, scraping up any caramelized meat juices. Add the potatoes, return the meat to the pot (and the barley if you're using it). Add enough stock to barely cover, cook over medium heat until just boiling, then reduce heat to very low and simmer 2 - 3 hours, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.