This rich, nourishing lamb stew is easy to prepare, and your oven will do most of the work. The pillowy soft dumplings are adapted from Dinner with Julie, using a little more salt and honey instead of sugar.
For the Stew:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 lbs lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1 inch size pieces
6-8 cups of broth (lamb, beef, or chicken) – find my Savoury Beef Bone Broth recipe here
8-10 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
1 heaping tablespoon sweet paprika
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
4 small onions, cut into quarters
4 large carrots, peeled and diced 1/2 inch thick
4 celery stalks, diced 1/2 inch thick
12 white or cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
1.5 lbs baby creamer potatoes, halved or quartered
2 dates, finely diced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt & pepper (see note)
Garnish with parsley (optional)
For the Dumplings:
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 handful parsley, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Season lamb generously with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Sear lamb pieces until brown on all sides. Ensure the pieces are spaced out, otherwise they will steam and not brown properly. You will likely need to do this in at least a few batches, setting the seared pieces aside.
Once the lamb is finished searing, reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the bottom of the pot. Add garlic, paprika, tomato paste, and rosemary. Sauté for 1 minute. Add onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms, and potatoes. Sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
Add the lamb, and more broth until the ingredients are just covered. Add thyme and diced dates (if they are stuck together, no worries, as they should break apart while the stew is cooking).
Place in the oven uncovered for about 5 hours, stirring once or twice part way through. Add salt and pepper to taste (I did this about an hour in, and adjusted once more at the end of cooking).
Once the stew is done, the vegetables will be cooked through, and the meat should be fall apart tender. Add salt and pepper if necessary.
Making the dumplings:
Increase oven heat to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, parsley, baking powder, and salt.
Whisk 1 cup of whipping cream and honey together in a small bowl. Add the cream/honey mixture to the flour mixture, stirring just until the dough comes together. Add more cream if necessary, only 2 tablespoons at a time.
Drop large spoonfuls of the batter on top of the hot stew, cover and place back in the oven for 15 minutes.
Serve hot and garnish with parsley if you like.
As a reference, I added several grinds of pepper and about 1 tablespoon of salt (not including the seasoning on the meat). Note, the broth I used did not contain any salt.
Keywords: stew, soup, lamb, dumplings, carrots, mushrooms, celery, thyme, rosemary, lunch, dinner, supper, healthy, nourishing, comfort food