This recipe calls for a flavor base (soffritto) of onions cooked to a deep golden, enhanced with a little smoked bacon and thyme. The chunky stew is served over separately cooked white beans.
Add onion to pan and cook, stirring, until golden verging on brown. Stir in garlic and cook a few seconds. Stir in tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, 1 cup water, thyme and bay leaves. Simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
* I happened to find "lamb stew meat" already cut up. If you do not, most cuts of lamb will work for this recipe: leg, shoulder or shank.
** I usually cook a full pound of beans and use the remainder for other meals.