This is a very simple stew that combines a few ingredients that are very prevalent in Lithuanian and Baltic cooking, beer and honey. The beer making tradition in Lithuania stretches back to the Middle Ages and is typified by home-brewing of farmhouse style ales. In the absence of homebrewed ale, go for something flavourful and hoppy a pale ale is best. I personally swear by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s pale ale when it comes to cooking.
The combination of honey and beer is sweet and rich. For this reason, I’ve suggested serving the stew over boiled potatoes and alongside some fresh vege to add bitterness.
Lithuanian Lamb Stew
- 50 g Butter
- 2 brown onions roughly diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 750 g diced lamb shoulder
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cups pale ale
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- chopped chives to serve
- 500 g potatoes
- Preheat oven to 160°C.
- In a large, oven-proof saucepan or Dutch Oven, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the onion and cook stirring regularly until softened and starting to become sweet (10-12 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, heat oil over medium until shimmering. Add the lamb and cook stirring occasionally until seared on all sides. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add ale, honey, and vinegar then deglaze the pan before returning the onion to the pan.
- Bring to a boil, then cover and transfer to the oven to braise for 2 hours.
- While the stew is braising, boil the potatoes in salted water until soft.
- Remove stew from the oven and serve over drained potatoes.