Lamb Stew with White Beans

So, here’s another lovely cold-weather stew. You could say this this is a re-run of my beef stew from March, and be completely in the right. But, this one has lamb – which makes it different, right?!

Okay, maybe it’s not totally different, but like most people, my kitchen hosts a lot of rerun dishes, and this one is definitely welcome on our table anytime we have all the ingredients on hand. The truth is, the weather is turning cold, and we’re in the waning days of our summer farm share, which leaves us with oodles of root vegetables in the crisper. Our meat farm share also supplies us with wonderful stew meats this time of year, so lamb stew is a natural. I promise you, that if you make this one, you won’t be disappointed…and it’s even better the next day for leftovers!

Lamb Stew with Cannellini Beans
Serves 6

1lb lamb stew meat, cubed, trimmed of fat
4 strips bacon, sliced
1 Tb olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
1 T fresh rosemary, minced
6 oz red wine
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 lb dry runner cannellini beans, cooked and drained
2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
3 bay leaves
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups tomato sauce (homeade, or jarred pasta sauce)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup water
salt & pepper to taste
parsley or cilantro for garnish

1/2 lb dry runner cannellini beans
1/2 onion
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 carrot, sliced in half
2 bay leaves

Cooking the Beans:
Soak the beans overnight in a large bowl, covered with 3 inches of water. To cook, pour beans and soaking water into a pot, add half an onion, 3 cloves garlic, carrot and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until beans are mostly done, but still slightly al dente – about a hour and fifteen minutes to 2 hours, depending on how fresh your beans are. Set cooked beans aside.


  1. Heat a large dutch oven on the stove over medium heat for a few minutes. Add sliced bacon, and saute until semi crisp. Remove bacon from pot and set aside. Leave 1 tablespoon of fat in the pot, pour out any excess (or save the bacon grease in a storage container in the fridge, as I do).
  2. Season the cubed lamb with salt and pepper. Add half of the lamb in one layer to the pot with bacon fat and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Remove lamb and set aside, then add remaining beef to the pot and sear.
  3. Remove remaining lamb from the pot and set aside. Add 1 T olive oil to the pot, then add the leeks, carrot, celery and saute, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. After 2 minutes, add the garlic, rosemary and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the red wine, stir and cook for another minute or two.
  4. Next, add the chicken stock, bell pepper, beans, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes and lamb. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour, remove the lid, turn the heat up a touch, and reduce the liquid in the stew until it becomes a delicious red gravy, about 20 minutes. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Chop up a handful of parsley or cilantro, and stir in at the last moment, then dish it up.

368cal: 90cal from fat, 9.9g fat, 80mg cholesterol, 1110mg sodium, 440mg potassium, 33g carbs, 8g fiber, 32g protein

9 thoughts on “Lamb Stew with White Beans

  1. I love me some lamb. I haven't gotten around to making stews yet, but i'm sure i'll hop on that train in no time! great recipe!

  2. Thanks, James! Heather, you really need to try out a stew – so good for the cold weather seasons, and this one is definitely my favorite. I love Rancho Gordo's runner cannellini beans – they're SO creamy…though in this case I did use their Mexican version of the cannellini, but it's pretty much the same bean.

  3. Shoot – what i meant to say was, " i haven't made any stews yet THIS FALL". Girl… i'm all about some stew! ha ha ha. Did you almost pee your pants when you read that i'd never made stew? how dare me! i'm just waiting for it to officially be cold and stay cold. i know… lame!

  4. Haha! Yeah, I did think it odd that our culinary star hadn't made stews – LOL! Well, seems like today would NOT be a stew day – its finally warm out – if wet.

  5. That's so funny – I made a pot of it last night too! It's on the menu for tomorrow, though, as I always think stew is better the second day.

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