When tender chunks of lamb braised in a rich and flavourful Guinness broth meet the fruit-laden juiciness of Mendoza Malbec, that’s what a match made in heaven tastes.
Spring in Germany invariably means a lot of lamb on the menu. However, what does one do with the abundance of lamb offered at the local butcher’s when the weather is still rather winterly cool, limiting the desire for a light Spring dish? Well, you make a hearty lamb stew instead, that is.
The recipe below is based on the classic Irish lamb stew, slow cooked in a broth enhanced with a good amount of Guinness and loads of vegetables.
Though the stew takes its time in the oven, the result is one of the most delicious stews, with the lamb chunks almost falling apart.
In classic Irish style, you can have the stew with another glass of Guinness on the side.
However, if like me you are a not too eager beer-drinker, then this delectable dish thankfully is finding a perfect match in a fruit-forward, juicy Malbec from Argentina.
If that bottle of Malbec then comes from the leading pioneering woman winemaker of Argentina, running one of the most acclaimed wineries within the Mendoza wine region, there’s no doubt you’ve truly found a match showing it’s respective awesome roots, living and breathing both the amazing Argentinian and Irish heritage.
Susana Balbo Wines – Mendoza, Argentina
The first woman to obtain a degree in enology in Argentina in 1981, Susana kicked-off her impressive winemaking adventure at Michel Torino winery, followed by stints at well-regarded Argentinian wineries Martins and Catena Zapata and advising wineries around the globe, from Australia to Brazil, Chile, California, Italy and Spain.
1999 finally saw the birth of Susana Balbo Wines, located at Luján de Cuyo Mendoza in a stunning scenery at the foot of the Andes Mountain range. Ever since Susana’s credo is to craft wines that are young and fresh for everyday drinking.
The winery produces four different wine ranges, expressing a large range of different styles.
Susana Balbo Ben Marco Malbec 2019
Grapes for the Ben Marco Malbec Valle de Uco are harvested at the Chacayes area, at approximately 1,100 metres altitude (and thus understood to come from slightly lower areas) characterized by rocky and sandy soils.
In the glass, an intense ruby red with violet reflections.
On the nose, classic Malbec aromas of violets, cherries, cassis, and raspberry, followed by notes of black pepper, and spice.
On the palate, fruit-forward, well-balanced, firm, and complex, with mineral notes and silky, persistent tannins.
The Susana Balbo Ben Marco Malbec pairs well with grilled red meat, hearty stews, spicy pasta dishes and aged cheese.
This is a great wine for everyday drinking, given the affordable pricing for a wine of this quality. However, it definitely punches its weight as a great wine to be opened during a celebration or special event.
Recipe: Lamb-Guinness Stew
500 g lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut in 2-3 cm cubes
2 leeks, chopped
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1 cm rings on diagonal
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1-2 cm pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
6 sticks of thyme, plus some more for garnishing
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
350 ml Guinness
1 litre beef broth
Preheat oven to 180°C.
In a large skillet, heat oil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and brown the lamb on all sides for about 4-5 minutes.
Add leeks, carrots, turnip, and garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Dust with flour, then add Guinness, broth, and thyme. Bring to cook, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet with a lid and transfer to the oven. Continue to cook in the oven for two hours, removing the lid for the last half hour.
Garnish with more thyme.
Serve the stew with bread, potatoes, or rice.