1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.
2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the onions and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. With a paring knife, peel the onions, leaving the pointed ends and roots intact.
3. On a dinner plate, spread the flour, salt, and pepper. Coat the lamb lightly, shaking off the excess.
4. In a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Brown the meat in batches for 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Cook the onions, carrots, and thyme, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Return the meat and any juices in the bowl to the pan with the stock and potatoes. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring once or twice, or until the meat is very tender when pierced with a skewer.
6. With a large spoon, skim the fat from the liquid. Set aside 4 cups of meat and vegetables and 1 cup cooking juices for the shepherd’s pie. Ladle the remaining stew into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
Sally Pasley Vargas