Dark, Sticky Stew


Jamie's Kitchen

Published by Michael Joseph/Penguin

This image courtesy of David Loftus

This reminds me of winter days in my youth, when I would come home late completely soaked through and shivering from playing down by the stream in the pouring rain. Mum would give me a rollicking about catching pneumonia, and then she’d give me a big bowl of stew. This dish just makes you feel really happy, and it’s also dead cheap to make.

NotesTry this: To really get the flavours going, the Italians have something called gremolata: finely chop some flat-leaf parsley, a clove of garlic and the zest from 1 or 2 lemons (or try oranges, which are also fantastic). Mix this up, sprinkle over the top of your stew and stir in — it will really give it an amazing kick.

Or this: You can play around with different root veg, or even use different cuts of meat — beef works really well in this stew. Just be aware that you may have to adjust the cooking time. It’s ready when the meat is tender and falls apart.


Cooking Methodbraising, stewing


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Five Ingredients or LessYes



Taste and Texturebubbly, herby, meaty, rich, savory, umami


  • 800g/1 ¾ lb stewing lamb, roughly diced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small handful of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 2 heaped tablespoons flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 field mushrooms, torn in half
  • 1 handful of baby carrots, scrubbed
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and grated
  • 1 dessert spoon Marmite
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pearl barley
  • 285ml/ ½ pint rich ale (Guinness, Caffrey’s, John Smith’s)
  • 565ml/1 pint stock
  • 6 skewers or sticks of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
  • 18 chipolata sausages


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Put your lamb into a bowl and season well with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Finely chop your rosemary leaves and add to the bowl with the flour. Mix around so that the meat is completely covered. Fry the lamb in a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a hot casserole-type pan — do this in batches so the pieces get a nice bit of colour, then remove from the pan and put to one side.

  2. Turn the heat down, then fry your onion, mushrooms and carrots for about 5 minutes until softened and slightly coloured. Add the lamb back to the pan along with the parsnip, Marmite, pearl barley, ale and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes while you skewer 3 chipolatas on to each of the skewers or rosemary sticks. Just before the stew goes in the oven, add the chipolatas to the pan. Then place a lid on or make a cartouche, wet it and tuck this over the pan. Cook for around an hour, or until the lamb falls apart.

  3. I love to eat it just as it is, almost like a thick soup, with some crusty bread.


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