a rainy-slushy-snowy late winter day requires an especially warming dish. i came home from my writers' circle to find this waiting for me... i put it in the oven before i left.
in an ovenproof pot, preferably cast iron, heat four or five slices of bacon until the fat is rendered and the meat is crisp. remove from the pot and set aside.
chop two - three pounds of lamb into chunks. you can use any kind of lamb - i like blade chops as they are a cheaper cut of meat with lots of flavor. you can remove excess fat this way as well. brown the meat in batches in the bacon fat. when the meat is browned, scrape the bottom for all the burned bits.
to the pot, add 4 leeks, chopped into thin rings - all the white and half inch of pale green - 2 parsnips and 2 carrots, chopped. also, 2 cups of beef stock, preferably homemade but canned is okay, and 1/4 cup scotch or 3/4 cup irish stout. (granny annie doesn't recommend any other substitutions because she hasn't tried them.) season with 4 tbsp fresh chopped thyme, 2 tbsp fresh chopped rosemary and the bacon, crumbled.
cover and cook in a slow oven (250 degrees F) four hours, adding more liquid as necessary.
serve over a slice thick brown bread, although any crusty bread, will do.