Turnips grow really well on our farm (we grow 3 varieties) so we’re always on the lookout for turnip recipes! I spotted this simple stew from chef April Bloomfield, and it seemed like the perfect fit for our purple top storage turnips and some lamb stew meat we had from Good Life Farm’s CSA+. This recipe turned out to be filled with some of our local favorites including white wine from Bet the Farm!
One of the things I like about this stew is the meat is given plenty of time to braise, and the vegetables are added during the last 30 minutes of cooking. It’s a great way to make a hearty stew with tender meat, and vegetables that aren’t completely mushy. I recommend this technique for any stew or braise!
Don’t skimp on the parsley in this dish, it adds nice color and flavor. The original also calls for mint which is a little more difficult to find in late winter. Gluten free people – I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour with great results. If the stew gets a little too thick while cooking, just thin it with water. While there’s white wine in the stew, I’d pair it with an earthy red.
Irish Lamb & Turnip Stew
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the roux
1 lb lamb stew meat
1 onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of your knife
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (gluten free if necessary)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 large purple top turnip, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 big carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 small new potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks
2 tablespoons heavy cream or whole milk
Chopped parsley for garnish
salt & pepper
In a dutch oven or cast iron pan with a lid, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the meat in 2 batches over medium-high heat, being careful not to crowd the pan. Transfer the lamb to a plate, then add the onions and cook over medium heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until 2 more minutes, transfer the garlic and onions to the plate with the lamb.
Turn off the heat and add enough oil to make 3 tablespoons of fat (the stew meat I used did not have a lot of fat, so I added 3 tablespoons of oil). Bring the heat to medium and add the flour to the oil. Stir until the flour and oil make a golden paste. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the casserole. Combine 2 cups of chicken stock with 2 cups of water and whisk a cup at a time into the roux. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and shiny, then add the lamb and onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Add the turnips, carrots and potatoes to the casserole and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream; season with salt and pepper. Garnish stew with parsley.