In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and just brown. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Remove all but 3 tablespoons oil from the pan. Season the lamb with the Essence and salt, and sprinkle with the flour. Add the meat and bones to the pan and sauté until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat and bones from the pan.
Add the onions, carrots and leeks to the pan and sauté over medium-high heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, parsley, thyme and bay leaves, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the stout, beef stock and potatoes, and return the meat and bones to the pot. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until the lamb and vegetables are tender, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat that forms on the surface.
Remove from the heat, adjust seasoning, to taste, and discard the lamb bones. Serve hot.
Yield: 6 servings