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Lamb Carbonnade with Spring Herbs and Vegetables

Recipe by Laura Fitzgerald

Serves six

This dish honors all of Allagash Dubbel Ale's spiritual ancestors, updating the classic Belgian dish, carbonnade or beef cooked in beer, with Maine's finest spring offerings: young lamb, newly sprouted chives, fresh green peas and even maple syrup. The beer's New England roots are remembered by pairing the lamb with its traditional English accompaniments: parsnips and mint.


  • Allagash Dubbel, 18 ounces
  • Canola oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Lamb shoulder, (cut into 1 inch cubes) 2 lbs.
  • Sugar, 2 tablespoons
  • Real maple syrup, 1 tablespoon
  • Large onion, (medium diced) 1
  • All-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons
  • Shallots, 15
  • Beef stock, 24 ounces
  • Red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons
  • Large bay leaf, 1
  • Cracked black peppercorns, 6
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon
  • Medium parsnips, (cut into coins) 3
  • Fresh green peas, 1 cup
  • Fresh mint, (minced) 1½ tablespoons
  • Chives, (minced) 1½ tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in the bottom of a Dutch oven over moderately high heat. Season and brown the lamb. Remove to a side plate.
  2. Turn down heat, add sugar and maple syrup to the pot. Cook until deep brown. While stirring, scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen caramelized meat drippings.
  3. Add onion, flour and shallots. Mix to coat in sugar and thoroughly blend in flour.
  4. Add stock and Allagash Dubbel Ale. Bring to a boil and let cook through for one minute.
  5. Add vinegar, bay leaf and peppercorn. Add lamb along with any juices on the side plate. Mix well.
  6. Cover the Dutch oven and simmer gently on the stovetop for one and a half to two hours. Check periodically to ensure the sugars in the stew do not scorch.
  7. While simmering, sauté parsnips in butter in a saucepan for five minutes. Set aside to be added to the stew 30 minutes before serving.
  8. Add peas five minutes before serving.
  9. Check consistency of stew. If liquid is too thin, remove solids and reduce to the desired gravy-like consistency.
  10. A minute or so before serving, add mint and chives. Adjust seasonings.

Serve in a shallow soup bowl alongside a simple whole-grain bread or on plates with mashed potatoes, with a hearty red wine or tart Lambic drink. Crisp Maine apple slices dipped in baked Camembert would make an appropriately simple dessert.

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Allagash Brewing Company