hearty spicy and sweet lamb stew…

19 Nov

lamb stew urbanpocketknife

Okie dokie, the toques, giant scarves and mittens are out!  The weather is getting nippy which always means the slow cooking starts happening in my kitchen.  There’s no steadfast rules for a good stew, you scrounge your fridge for some veggies, get a nice slab of meat and add some tasty liquid.

If I’m home with time on my hands, it goes in the dutch oven, if I’m out, it’s in the crockpot.  This particular stew is slightly sweet from the veggies, has lots of tender meat, garlicky and a touch spicy.  Share it with friends, eat it with a hunk of sourdough bread and freeze the leftovers for future meals.

Here’s the recipe!

What you need!
lamb shoulder
2 medium beets (use golden or red stripe to avoid dying the whole batch red)
5 medium carrots
1 red onion
5 cloves of garlic
half small kabocha squash
8 button mushrooms
500ml chicken stock
250ml tomato puree
250-400ml white wine
2 tsp rosemary
1 tsp cayenne powder
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

1.  Drizzle olive oil in your dutch oven and sear both sides of the lamb shoulder on medium-high heat.  Remove and set aside.

2.  Peel and chop all veggies uniformly, add onions and garlic in the dutch oven and sautee until golden.  Add the rest of the veggies, seasoning and rosemary and sautee until fragrant.  Remove set aside.

3.  Place the lamb shoulder at the bottom of the dutch oven and cover with the veggies.  Add all the liquid, the goal is to have the liquid almost cover all the ingredients.

4.  Bring the whole shabang up to a boil, once reached, reduce to a minimum to maintain a low simmer with the lid on.

5.  Cook for 2-4 hours or until lamb is fork tender, you shouldn’t have to stir the lot if you have the heat low enough.

6.  Once the lamb is done, remove and shred in chunks while removing the bone.  Put everything back in the dutch oven and turn the heat to med-high without the lid on.  Keep at a high simmer until the liquid has evaporated to about 2/3rd, this will intensify the flavours and make for a thicker stew.  Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

7.  Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks:

1.  If using a crockpot, do all the searing and sauteeing in a large saucepan or frying pan first.  Set at high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours.  Keep in mind that the wine may not evaporate all it’s alcohol content

2.  I like using squash to help thicken the liquid as it breaks apart.  You could use potatoes or yams with the same results.  Or you can use a thickener like cornstarch but I like to keep it clean.

3.  Skim any fat that may rise to the top


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