Lamb Stew

11 10 2009

Remember that 5 lb lamb I got the other day and used half to make the Morrocan spiced lamb?  Well, I’m thawing out the other half to make a delicious lamb stew.   (I’ve found it helps in grocery shopping for the week if you have meals that share ingredients. You don’t have to make them back-to-back for variety’s sake, but it saves on the grocery bill.)

On to the stew!

Ingredients:

2 1/2 lbs bonless lamb leg

1 medium onion diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery chopped

3 cloves garlic

2 tbs tomato paste

2 cups beef broth

2 cups red wine

3 tbs olive oil

3 tbs almond flour

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

bay leaf

 

How to assemble:

You ever notice how on cooking shows, they just throw things in the pot from these neatly pre-chopped piles?  Well, it’s much easier at assembly time, if you take a little time up front to chop up all your veggies and meats so that when it’s time, you aren’t running back and forth to the cutting board.

So, start by peeling the carrots and chopping up them, the onion, and the celery.  Put into a big bowl along with 3 cloves of garlic that you mince up.

Then cut the lamb into bite sized chunks.

Pour olive oil in the bottom of a large pot.  Heat up on medium high heat.  Brown the lamb in batches.  Nothing containing liquid will brown properly if crowded in a pan — this goes for meats, poulty, and mushrooms.  So work in batches and brown the lamb.  Don’t worry about cooking it through at this point.  Once browned, pull out of the pan and put on a plate. 

Next, add the veggies and garlic to the pot and let them cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste and almond flour and then cook another couple of minutes.  Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  (This is called de-glazing, for those non-chefs out there who want to impress their friends.)  Then add the beef broth and the lamb chunks. 

Leave uncovered and let the liquid cook down (again, cooking term here would be “reduce”) for about 30 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and let the stew settle for about 10-15 minutes so that you don’t burn yourself.

Fish out the bay leaves.  If you can’t find them, you can do what my mom did when we were kids and tell everyone dining on the lamb that whoever finds the bay leaf gets to make a wish.

I would serve over smashed cauliflower.

lambstew

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Moroccan Spiced Lamb

7 10 2009
A few notes to start.

Costco has boneless leg of lamb for a really good price. It takes a little butchering to remove the silver skin (which just ends up tough and chewy if you don’t remove it, but isn’t too hard to take off). To remove the silver skin, take a small knife and slide between the silver skin and meat and then angle the blade upwards and slide along the meat. If you get a 5 lb lamb leg, remove the silver skin and then cut it in half and freeze half to use later.

This recipe is really spicy. Just a warning for those who aren’t a fan of spice.

Cut about 2 1/2 lbs of lamb into chunks. Put in a gallon ziploc.

Add to the ziploc:

1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbs cumin
2 tsp turmeric *
1 1/2 tsp corriander *
(* can sub in 1 tbs curry powder if you want it less potent)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

Shake to combine and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Put a large skillet on medium high heat and add 3-4 tbs coconut oil. Once it is hot, brown the lamb chunks.

Add 2 diced medium onions and 3-4 cloves of minced garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Take 8 oz of pitted dates (1 cup) and cut into thirds. Add to lamb mixture along with 2 cups of chicken broth (get the natural kind or make it yourself). Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes until dates plump and lamb is tender.

To finish, toast about a half a cup of pine nuts and toss on top. (Optional)

PA050259

I serve with:

1 large butternut squash that I peeled, removed the seeds, cubed and boiled. Then I drained the water and smashed it like potatoes and sprinkled a little cinnamon.