Barney’s boozy lazy lamb stew – perfect comfort food

There’s a howling wind a-blowing outside today. The UK Met Office (the government department responsible for making the weather) is now naming storms, as they do in the USA. This is Barney apparently.

A storm calls for a comforting evening meal, something hearty to warm us up from the inside. I’ve just made a rather wonderful stew from the usual random selection of ingredients at the back of the fridge, which I wanted to share, as it was something of a surprise that it turned out so well.

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I’m going to call this Barney’s boozy lazy lamb stew in recognition of the storm and the huge amount of wine required. It took 2 hours to cook, but the preparation took about seven minutes. It was seriously good.

Barney’s boozy lazy lamb stew:

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 100g cubetti di pancetta – or thick bacon cut up into small pieces
  • 1 small onion – chopped
  • 450g diced lean British lamb
  • 1 dessertspoon plain flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon paprika
  • 500ml red wine
  • 500ml water
  • Small can of chopped tomatoes with basil (I used tomato & basil soup, because it was already open.)
  • 2 carrots – diced
  • 400g (large can) of cannellini beans
  • Pinch of salt & pepper


Preheat the oven to 160˚c.

Heat the oil on the hob in an oven-proof casserole dish and add the pancetta and onion until the onion starts to become transparent. In a bowl (or if you’re really lazy like me, in the container the lamb is sold in) sprinkle the flour and paprika over the diced lamb and stir until each cube of lamb is coated.

Add the coated lamb to the pan and stir until the outside of the lamb starts to turn brown. Add the wine, water, tomatoes and carrots. Rinse the beans before adding them to the stew. Season with salt & pepper.

Bring the stew slowly to the boil. Place a lid on top of the dish and put it in the oven for two hours.

Stir occasionally and if it’s looking too thick, add wine or water (your preference).

I served our stew with slices of roasted butternut squash, but this would be fabulous with crushed potatoes, or just on its own.

Serving suggestion: wear woolly socks and eat with a spoon.

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Barney's boozy lazy lamb stew, perfect comfort food for a winter's evening