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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Southwestern Lamb Stew with Stout and Quinoa

This is an easy, hearty and delicious stew for Fall.  Chunks of lamb are simmered with chocolate stout, tomatoes, corn and quinoa for an unusual and warming dish.

Here is a lamb stew that makes the transition from Summer to Fall, combining corn, tomatoes and onion with garlic, chocolate stout and stock.  This combination suggested southwestern food to me, and so I took that flavoring in that direction.  The result was excellent, and quite unlike any stew I've had.  The addition of quinoa was an experiment for me, but I think a great success, as it adds body, texture and its own nutty flavor to the stew.

Southwestern Lamb Stew with Stout and Quinoa


3 lb lean lamb stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
2 onions, peeled and cut into 1" chunks
10 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup black quinoa, well-rinsed if not pre-rinsed, to remove bitter coating
1 cup kernel corn (about 2 ears of corn cut off the cob)
3 T olive oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 clove elephant garlic (very large, mild garlic), or 2 cloves regular garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 of a cinnamon stick
1 tsp thyme
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
1 large bay leaf
1 1/2 cups strong beef stock
1 large can or bottle of double chocolate stout (about 15 oz)
sea salt and ground black pepper 
1/4 cup fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. In a nonreactive dutch oven, or other large pot, place the lamb, onions, and olive oil.  Saute over high heat until browned.  Add the garlic and saute two minutes more (do not burn the garlic)

  2. Add the white pepper, cinnamon stick, thyme, cumin, chipotle, bay leaf, tomatoes, beef stock, and stout.
    Cover and cook on a strong simmer over medium heat.

  3. Cooking the Stew:

    • The total cooking time will be about one hour, or until lamb is tender. 
    • Thirty minutes before the lamb will be done, add the uncooked quinoa.  Continue cooking.
    • Ten minutes before the lamb will be done, add the kernel corn (the goal is to not over cook the corn).

    • Taste and adjust seasoning with the salt and pepper.  Serve, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves.

      Suggestion:  Accompany with 60-minute rolls, and cold stout.


    1. When do you add the tomatoes?

    2. Wow, this stew looks amazing, I'm pretty sure it tastes perfect too.
      I love quinoa and I love stews too so this dish is perfect.
      Thank you for sharing it!

    3. Thank you @Quinoa Diet! I hope you enjoy the stew; we liked the combination of textures and flavors.
      Regards, Sue

    4. This looks deeee-lish and your photography makes my mouth water! I found your site as I've just started learning about ways to incorporate whey from my homemade yogurt, into my cooking. Would you suggest using whey in this recipe? If so, does cooking it lessen it's nutritional punch? Thanks so much! Becky Jaine

    5. Thank you @monkeychimonkeydo! It's interesting that you are the second person in the last few days to ask me whether whey could be used like stock in a soup! Basically, in my opinion, no. There are, however, LOTS of great things to do with your whey! Use it in place of milk or even cream in any baked recipe. When baking bread, use it instead of water for a great nutritional benefit! Evaporate it and make Brunost, the Norwegian cheese.... If you make hard cheese, the whey can be converted to ricotta, which is wonderful and fun to do! Cheers, Sue


    Your feedback matters! So please leave a comment. I will do my best to answer all comments! Cheers, Sue