Wednesday, February 02, 2005

the best lamb stew EVER

I hope I can remember everything that went into this, because it was really, really good.

1 large zucchini
2 tomatoes
3 small carrots
1 small butternut squash
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt & pepper

1 small onion
splash olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup flour
1.5 lbs lamb stewing meat, in 1.5" square cubes or so
1/2 cup barley
3 smallish cloves garlic
handful raisins or other dried fruit
1 tsp or so lemon zest
2 tbsp duqqa spice blend (cumin, coriander seed, pepper, cayenne, almonds & sesame seeds)
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups broth or stock (chicken or veal)
1 cup water (or more as necessary)

This looks like a bit of a production but it didn't actually take too long.

Cut the veggies up into bite-sized cubes, toss in the balsamic, olive oil, salt & pepper, throw on a roasting tray and stick in a 375F oven for half an hour or until the squash is soft, then just leave in the oven to keep warm until it's time to put them in the stew.

While the veggies are roasting, finely dice the onion. Next, combine the cumin, salt, pepper and flour in a large bowl and toss your lamb cubes in it to coat them thoroughly. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large stew pot. Toss your lamb in (in batches if it's going to be more than one layer on the bottom) and brown it. When it's looking mostly brownish, toss in the onions, duqqa and barley. When things start sticking to the bottom and going really brown and toasty, deglaze the pot with the wine. The liquid will thicken up very quickly because of the flour so don't be alarmed. Add the stock, water as you think you need it, and the lemon zest, garlic and dried fruit. Simmer until the lamb is tender, probably 40-45 minutes, then add the roasted veg. Cook another 5 minutes, adjust the seasoning, and serve with multigrain bread.


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