Lamb Stew For An Autumn Night

Autumn in New England is one of the loveliest times of the year. Leaves turn gold and crimson then fall to the ground creating a beautiful carpet that crunches under your feet. Adults take their children to pick apples at one of the many orchards and to farms looking for the perfect pumpkin. After a full day enjoying the crisp outdoor weather, a warming and hearty meal is a great way to end the day. Lamb stew is perfect for just such an occasion.

With a little preparation, this dish can be placed in a slow cooker and ready when you return from your outdoor activities or cooked on top of the stove like I did in a Dutch oven at a slow simmer for several hours until the meat is fork tender. Either way, you will end up with a robust meal that fills your kitchen with wonderful aromas.

Lamb Stew

Lamb Stew

  • 1 lb. of lamb, trimmed of all fat and cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • flour for dusting
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil for browning
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 c. red wine
  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce (I used homemade)
  • 2 c. beef stock
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 c. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 or 3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 c. frozen pearl onions
  • 1/2 c. frozen baby peas

Season the lamb cubes generously with salt and pepper and dust with flour. Heat enough oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven to just coat and brown the lamb cubes in batches (do not overcrowd), adding a little more oil if necessary, when brown remove to a plate. Add the onions, stirring up all the brown bits and cook until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the red wine to deglaze, stirring well and then add the lamb back to the pot. Add the tomato sauce, beef stock, water, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and bay leaves. Stir, cover with the lid and let simmer until the lamb is tender. At this point remove the lid. If the sauce is too thin, cook a little longer to reduce or make a paste of flour and water to thicken the sauce, cook until the desired consistency. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings if necessary.  Add the potatoes and carrots, cook uncovered for ten minutes, then add the pearl onions and cook until all the vegetables are done. Right before serving add the baby  peas which will only take a  few minutes to cook. Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves and serve in warm bowls.

To complement this meal, you might want a crisp green salad although it isn’t necessary with all the vegetables in the stew. What you will want is a chunk of bread to soak up the savory sauce and a nice glass of red wine.

I hope you will enjoy this meal and the autumn days that lie ahead.

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

160 thoughts on “Lamb Stew For An Autumn Night

    1. Hi Tanya, Autumn in New England is very beautiful. Some years the trees seem to glow, their colors are so bright. I think it is the favorite season for most people who live here. Enjoy the stew!

  1. This is my kind of dish for fall. Why is it our thoughts turn to comfort food when the temperature starts dropping? BTW, are you salvaging any apples or have the critters beat you to them? Apples appear plentiful here so you might have to come on back.

    1. Hi Lulu, Isn’t it funny how the weather affects what we eat…wanting comfort food as soon as the weather turns cool. The animals are having to learn to share the apples with me now that I am back home. The nice thing is that I have my apple ladder and can reach the apples that the deer can’t. I have been seeing tote bags of apples from Maine in the markets here. The Maine orchards seem to have been spared the bad spring weather.

  2. A lovely way to greet Autumn Karen ! I’m imagining the smells from slow cooked lamb would fill the room, and eventhough I’ve just had lunch I’m hungry at the thought of it !

  3. It is windy and dreary out right at the moment, looks cold too. A bowl of your lamb stew would be so welcomed even though it is breakfast time.
    Love your pumpkin arrangements, I am guessing everything was gathered from your property.

    1. Hi Norma, The weather has been very dreary here as well. Rain, daytime temps in the 5o’s and no sun since last Thursday. We definitely need to be eating lots of comforting food. I love collecting little interesting bits of nature when walking in the orchard.

    1. Thank you Marie, for your nice comment. Perhaps next Sunday. This meal just needs a little prep and basically cooks itself…perfect for when the games are on TV.

  4. That looks delicious!
    I looked at beautiful American autumn scenes in movies for years, thinking that the DOPs had made special efforts to film close to dawn or dusk to make the trees look extra red and golden. It wasn’t until i lived in America that I realised just how beautiful the trees are and how much redder than in the UK 😉

    1. Thanks, Mad Dog. Mother Nature doesn’t need any help when it comes the glowing colors on the trees in New England. The crimson color of the maple trees is especially beautiful. I have noticed the same thing about the color of the leaves when we travel in Europe in the Autumn…not as colorful as here.

  5. Gorgeous picture, Karen. I’m reminded of the much less attractive Japanese beef stew that I posted a while back and taking notes for the future.:) I like lamb but don’t get it very often …usually making a boneless leg of lamb rolled with a walnut and basil/parsley pesto over roasted potato wedges but I’ve been meaning to do a lamb curry Indian style one of these days. This stew sounds and looks delicious. Just have to invest in a good bottle of red wine.

    1. Thank you Boleyn, for your nice compliment. I have to agree with you that I probably cook leg of lamb and chops more often. The way you prepare your lamb sounds terrific. A good bottle of red really does go well with this meal.

  6. Karen, this is absolutely great meal, warming, comforting, and so inviting… I’ve heard of the beauty of your land, especially in the Autumn. My friends from the West Coast just went there and will drive along the East Coast. Your photos are amazing! Thanks for a beautiful pumpkin ornament, it put a happy smile on my face… Happy Monday, and have a great week! 🙂

    1. Hi Marina, I’m glad to know that I put a smile on your face to start the week off. I hope you friends enjoy their trip along the East Coast. Our area is especially lovely this time of the year. Usually the peak color is around the 10th of October…a little later in southern New Hampshire where we live. The lamb stew was especially good as our weather has been cool and rainy for several days. Thank you for your nice comment.

  7. Will certainly have to head out and buy a nice piece of lamb and delve into this stew. Since we love lamb I know it will be as delicious as the description and photo you added. Our only problem in this part of Mexico, is that the only lamb is imported from New Zealand to Costco! Maybe you could ship us some down along with those great fresh Atlantic lobsters…LOL.

    1. Hi Reg, I hope you will enjoy the lamb as much as my husband and I did. I have heard that lots of people think New Zealand lamb is the best. I tend to like it no matter where is was raised. There is only one Costco in New Hampshire and it is about an hour away. I’ll make a trip there before the holidays as they do carry some items that I can’t find anywhere else.

    1. Thank you Kay…it was as good as it looks although I find it hard to get a good photo of a dish that is basically brown. With the cool damp weather we have been having, it was a perfect evening meal.

  8. Gosh, that’s a great looking stew. I haven’t had lamb stew in ages. Which is silly, because lamb is my favorite red meat. I always use thyme with my lamb too – great combo. But I use thyme a lot – one of my favorite herbs. Nice thing about thyme is the dried isn’t half bad, although I’ll always use fresh when I can. Anyway, I’m loving the cooler weather, in part because dishes like this sound much more appetizing than they did a month ago!

    1. Thank you John, for your nice compliment. I think I probably use thyme more than any other fresh herb from my garden. I think that it goes especially well with lamb. It is funny how we want different foods as our weather changes.

  9. I will occasionally cook lamb, but I’ve never made a stew. I don’t think I’ve thought of it! I have a son-in-law with a birthday coming up…and this has his name all over it. I wonder if I could do it in a crock pot, or at least a variation that would adapt. Karen, it is supposed to be 105 degrees today! Ha! Oh well…Autumn will eventually arrive. I’m ready! This sounds delicious and I’m serious about making it for my son-in-law. It would transport and reheat well, I think! 🙂 Have a beautiful fall day, and think of me, Karen. Ha! D

    1. Oh my goodness, Debra! I can’t believe your weather. It is supposed to get to about 66 today if the sun stays out which will be warmer than it has been. You could absolutely adapt this recipe to a crock pot. Just brown the lamb well first. You will also probably have to thicken you sauce at the end. Actually if you could make it the day before, and reheat it when you arrive…the flavor will have improved. Good luck and I hope everyone enjoys the dish even if the weather doesn’t feel like autumn.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, I think most people would agree that fall is their favorite time of the year. Lovely weather, wonderful foliage and delicious and comforting food. Thank you for your comment.

  10. Happy autumn to you too Karen! I can just smell this stew now. It’s a very comforting recipe and you’re right – perfect for after a trip to the orchard!

    1. Hi Kristy, Thank you for your wish as well. Stew is a wonderful meal when you come back in from a day in the cool outdoors. It was perfect for the weather we have been having lately.

  11. Autumn in New Hampshire was magical! I think it was the one season I’ve enjoyed the most! I have never seen so many different colors from the yellow, orange and red palette anywhere in the world! Your stew reminds me exactly of those colors Karen. Looks very comforting too!

    1. Thank you Katerina, for your nice comment. I think you described autumn in New Hampshire perfectly when you said magical. People come from all over the world during the first couple of weeks in October to see the colorful foliage. I’m glad you enjoyed the photo of the stew. You are right, it does have the colors of autumn.

  12. This looks and sounds fabulous! I love lamb stews. I wish it were cool here because we still are in the 90s even if it is Fall. It will probably be mid/late October before things really cool down.

    1. Hi Richard, I’m glad you like the lamb stew. I know that it is still hot where you are…hopefully cooler weather isn’t too far off. Thank you for you nice comment.

    1. Thank you Frugal…I’m glad that you like the recipe. I love lamb…whether it is in a burger, a crusted rack, a roasted leg or in a stew like this. It is very versatile.

  13. What a gorgeous, rich, filling stew, and I really like that it uses lamb, which is so under-appreciated! I could really use some right now, it is positively frigid in the lab right now.

    1. Thank you Kristine, for stopping by and your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I have to agree that lamb is a very under appreciated meat…it is delicious.

    1. Hi Celia, I agree with you about slow cooked meat dishes. They don’t take a lot of prep work and if started a few hours before meal time, give you a delicious and comforting meal. If prepared the day before, the flavor is even better as are leftovers.

  14. I’m dusting off my crock pot and calling my neighbor for some lamb. Sometimes I forget how much I love my slow cooker. This will be a perfect recipe to break it in again. Thx!

    1. Hi Cloe, This is a perfect dish for a slow cooker. All it takes is browning the lamb well and deglazing the pan before adding it to the slow cooker. Then you have the day free to enjoy the great outdoors during this wonderful fall season.

    1. H Lizzie, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. I’m glad you liked the recipe…I love the depth of flavor that Worcestershire sauce adds to the recipe.

    1. Hi Alli, Thank you for your sweet compliment. I’m glad that you have enjoyed my posts. Lamb is such a flavorful meat and is perfect in a comforting meal like this.

  15. They say the Fall colors are coming about 2 weeks early this year because of the Summer’s high heat. I drove along the lakefront today and the trees were looking beautiful. I can only imagine how much nicer it looks in your area, Karen. Autumn is New England’s crowning glory. It sounds like we’re of the same mind once the weather starts to change. It’s Stew Weather and I so enjoy it. I’m certain I’d love your lamb stew, too.

    1. Hi John, Fall colors appear to be on schedule here in New England. You definitely had high temps in the Chicago area and I’m sure it has affected the trees. New England is known as the place to visit in the fall…cool weather, beautiful foliage, apple orchards. I could go on and on. Peak season in the mountains of northern New Hampshire is usually around October 10th, later where we are in the southern part of the state. It is definitely stew weather and I hope you get a chance to try the recipe.

  16. What a lovely Autumn meal. I can just imagine how wonderful this would smell as it’s cooking. Great flavours there and definitely something everyone in my family would enjoy. Aussies love their lamb! xx

    1. Hi Charlie, Thank you for your compliment. Yes…you Aussies are definitely known for your wonderful lamb. Wish I could visit and try all the wonderful ways you prepare it.

    1. Hi France, I think sometimes we get in a routine with our cooking and forget about some of our favorites. Thank you for your comment.

  17. Your lamb stew looks very very delicious. This kind of meal is perfect for the crisp weather we are beginning to have here in my area. I enjoyed looking at your past posts. All those animals are probably annoying but they sure are cute, especially the deer. Thank you for visiting my blog and please visit again.———-Shannon

    1. Hi Shannon, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad that you have enjoyed my previous posts. I do enjoy the beauty of the deer especially the young fawns.

  18. Your stew makes me want to be snuggled In a log cabin with a huge stone fireplace! I’d have to change the lamb to veal to make my husband happy though! LOL! Especially if I want to snuggle with him!!!

    1. Hi Mary, I’m glad that you like the stew recipe. It would be delicious made with veal or beef. A stay in a log cabin snuggled in front of a fireplace sounds lovely.

  19. Mmmm, much as I love summer it’s so nice to return to the slow braises and stews of fall and winter. Your lamb stew looks beautiful and I’m sure it tastes delicious.

  20. I didn’t grow up eating lamb so I’m not very familiar with lamb recipes, while my husband loves it. I still need to adjust the lamb aroma but with stew I think I can easily enjoy it. Such a comfort dish for the beginning of fall. Thank you for sharing this lovely dish!

    1. Hi Nami, Thank you for your comment. I never had lamb when I was growing up as well. I think one of the things that might help you if you decide to cook lamb is to buy very lean lamb and then trim off any fat. I think it is the fat that creates the aroma you don’t care for.

    1. Hi Rita, I’m sure that your dish is delicious. Stews are very comforting during the cooler weather. I’ll try using chicken next time and you can try the lamb.

    1. Hi Lorraine, Even though our seasons are opposite, autumn and spring are similar in that the temps are a little cool, especially in the evening hours. Thank you for your comment.

    1. Hi Angie, I don’t think you are the only one who has not had lamb stew but I do think you would enjoy it. It has a delicious flavor.

  21. Karen – your stew looks hearty, colorful, and delicious. With temps in the low 80’s, it’s not quite stew weather here yet, but I’m ready.

    1. Hi Larry, Thank you for your nice compliment about the stew. I know it takes a little while longer for cooler fall weather to reach your area but it will.

  22. There is nothing like a good lamb stew or Autumn in Maine 🙂 It’s been a few years since I was there in the fall but it’s my favorite season. The leaves are beautiful and crunchy on the ground. My father used to love the fall too. He said that’s when the tourists left. He was bad.

    1. Hi Maureen, Fall in New England is the prettiest season of all. Your are right about the tourists to a degree. After Labor Day there are fewer tourists but for the next few weeks the leaf peepers (as they are fondly called) will be driving all over the area enjoying the fall color. Your father sounds like someone I would have enjoyed meeting.

  23. Taking a road trip to New England for the fall colors is one of the things that my husband and I want to do one of these years. We always try to manage going into the Rockies to see the aspen trees since it’s close by. Your lamb stew sounds like a perfect fall dish and looks very warm and comforting, as well as delicious!

    1. Hi MJ, I do hope you and your husband make a fall foliage trip to New England some year. I have seen photos of the aspens in the Rockies when they turn yellow…I’m sure it is beautiful in person. Thank you for your nice comment.

  24. Morning karen. I have a home grown lamb in the freezer with this stew in mind, thank you so much for the recipe! and your fall colours are so beautiful.. c

    1. Hi Virginia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice comment. Hopefully the sun will come out soon. In the meantime, I’ll be cooking comforting food.

    1. Thank you Ambrosiana, for your nice compliment. We had a rosemary bread and our red wine of choice for this meal was a Sangiovese…it went perfect.

    1. Hi Lisa, At least you get a few days when the AC can be turned off. I know what you mean…I missed the change of seasons when we lived in Florida. Thank you for your visit and comment.

    1. Hi Byrdi, I think that the autumn season is the nicest of all. The nights are cool enough here that the feather blanket had to be on the bed.

  25. Hi Karen,
    I’m so happy you visited our blog so that I could come over and find you. Your stew looks awesome except that I would probably make it with beef. Now that I’ve seen your gorgeous photo, I won’t be satisfied until I make it. I have always wanted to go to New England in the fall to see the foliage. Here in SC the weather is still warm and most of the leaves are green. By the way, I enjoyed seeing the photos of the deer in your orchard.

    1. Hi Jane, I’m glad you enjoyed the last couple of posts and appreciate that you stopped by for a visit. Thank you for your compliment.

  26. Karen, my husband won’t eat lamb so I rarely make it. I can just imagine coming home to this meal in the slow-cooker though. I’ve just pulled mine out (slow cooker) to help with the crazy school nights when we need to eat quickly. I guess I could swap beef for the lamb . . .

    1. Hi Barb, Slow cookers come in so handy when you have a busy schedule. I know your evenings can be hectic at this time of the year. Beef will work perfectly in this recipe.

    1. Hi Victoria, Thank you for your compliment. I like to use Worcestershire sauce as it really does add a depth to the flavor of this and many dishes.

    1. Thank you Raymund, for your nice compliment. I like to have rice with many dishes like this. Stews and curries have such nice sauces that the rice can combine with.

  27. That is truly a magnificent looking lamb stew, Karen. Picture perfect! I’d love to see New England in the autumn. We just returned from a camping trip in North GA last weekend, but the leaves are just barely starting to change here.

    1. Hi Betsy, Thank you for your very nice compliment. Maybe some fall you will be able to take a trip to New England for the fall foliage. Peak color starts about October 10th. Our leaves are mostly yellow and orange right now, the reds will be later. I hope you had a nice weekend…northern Georgia has some lovely spots to visit.

  28. We love lamb but it has become a very special treat for us, it is sooooooo expensive here. Love the recipe though and I will bookmark it for when I see a special offer! Take care Diane

    1. Hi Diane, I was surprised to learn that lamb is expensive in France. It is what I enjoy about blogging…you learn so much. Hopefully there will be a special offer. Thank you for your comment.

  29. Autumn greetings back at you! 🙂 What a lovely & well filled comfort dinner! I love stews, especially with lovely lamb! Yummmmm! A fab picture too!

  30. I love this stew but that autumn photo is gorgeous! Anything in a crock pot is great for me. If I can get something going early in the day before I get distracted I’m less likely to look & see that it’s 5:00 & I haven’t thought about dinner.
    I’m not sure if it’s coming from your end or mine but I’ve had a couple of strange things happen – 1 of your comments showed up on spam & then I didn’t get this auto emailed to me. I’m going to try hitting follow on your blog again & see if that works.

    1. Hi Diane, Thank you for your comment. The recipe is indeed great for the crockpot. Brown you meat well before adding to the crock pot and them follow the recipe. I have had lots of problems when I have tried to leave comments and them going into the spam file. Akismet is supposed to have fixed it…I hope so. WP is trying to fix the other problem. Thank you for your perseverance.

    1. Hi Cathy, The weather has been cool and damp here…some sun would be nice for a day or two. The lamb stew was a perfect fall evening meal. Thank you for your comment.

  31. Karen, lamb stew is certainly a wonderful and delicious way “to greet autumn” – I am sure that the colorful foliage around you is stunning and that this stew is the perfect meal to enjoy after a day spent outside.

    Thank you also for your very lovely comment on my blog and if this is the last post before your vacation, I would like to take the opportunity to wish you a wonderful trip filled with delicious food memories and countless memorable photo opportunities! Bon voyage – Gute Reise! I am looking forward to your next wonderful post!

    1. Thank you Andrea, for your lovely comment as always. The foliage is all in yellows and golds right now. The peak red colors will be a little later. We our looking forward to our trip…one more post and then you will be reading my posts about your beautiful country. There will be lots of great food and hopefully the weather will cooperate for the photos.

    1. Hi Soffia, I cooked my lamb stew on the stove top…it is very versatile. You can also prepare it in the oven or a slow cooker. I hope your autumn will be lovely as well and thank you for your comment.

  32. What a gorgeous lamb stew! I haven’t had lamb for two or three months and start craving it a lot. Here the autumn is usually beautiful and warm but there is something wrong this year. We have not much of the sun, lots of wind and rainy days 😦 I hope it changes before winter arrives.

    1. Thank you Sissi, for your nice compliment. I glad you like the stew. So far it sounds like we are having the same kind of autumn. I’ve got leaves on the ground already for the winds and rains. I agree…I certainly hope it changes before winter.

    1. Hi Donna, Isn’t lamb stew delicious. This is a nice recipe that can be done in a slow cooker, on the stove top like I did or in the oven…lots of options.

  33. Hi Karen – you’ve done an amazing thing… you’ve been able to photograph stew and make it look delicious! I find stew is such a hard thing to photograph. Even though it’s a wonderful, tasty dish the colours really don’t lend themselves well to appetising photos for me, but yours looks fantastic – a great reflection on the taste no doubt!

    1. Hi Charles, Thank you for the nice compliment…I’m glad you like the photo. Sometimes you get lucky…I’d rather be lucky than good. LOL. The taste was as good as it looks.

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