Stout lamb, lentils & cranberry

Stout lamb, lentils & cranberry

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

In keeping with all things grainy and earthy, this book couldn’t go without a recipe using stout. The deep barley, malt and coffee characteristics of the beer really get inside the lamb in this stew. Although stews are very traditional in Nordic countries, they usually use cream; this one is a little lighter with a sharper flavour. Baby onions are essential, providing sweetness, along with the simultaneously sweet and tart cranberries. Like most slow-cooks, it is best after it has sat for a while. My suggestion is to double the quantities so you have some for the freezer; it will keep for up to three months.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
800g leg or shoulder of lamb, cut into large dice
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
500ml stout
1 onion, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cloves
500ml vegetable stock
400g baby pearl onions
100g dried cranberries
200g dried green or brown lentils
1 tablespoon chopped dill


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Brown the lamb for a few minutes on all sides. Season and scatter over the flour. Cook for 1 minute until the flour has soaked up all the liquid. Pour in the vinegar and 1 tablespoon water. Use these to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the base. Transfer the lamb and the juices to a casserole dish and pour over the stout.
  3. Wipe the pan clean, and fry the onion, celery and garlic in the remaining oil for 4–5 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Add the cloves and deglaze the pan with the stock. Transfer to the casserole. Cover with foil then top with the lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours. Halfway through cooking, add the pearl onions; in the last 15 minutes add the cranberries.
  4. While the lamb is cooking, thoroughly rinse the lentils under running water. Tip them into a saucepan with ¾ teaspoon salt and pour in 500 ml water. Bring to the boil over a medium–high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. You should only see a few small bubbles and some slight movement in the lentils. Cook, uncovered, for 20–30 minutes, until they are al dente. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are always just covered. Drain the lentils then stir through the dill. Serve alongside the lamb with a green salad.
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