Out of nowhere, last week I began craving lamb stew. So, over the weekend, I answered the craving. This lovely lamb stew is warm, savory and hearty. Just what you need to warm the soul as the colder weather is arriving.
The star of the show…the lamb! Go with whatever you can find on sale. Our local store had butterflied loins on sale so two pounds came home.
Cut the lamb into approximately one inch cubes. No need to be precise. The more rustic the better.
The lamb cubes go into a gallon size ziplock bag with a half cup of flour seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake well to coat all of the pieces evenly.
Heat two turns of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Brown the lamb on all sides and remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
See all those lovely brown bits??? They produce amazing flavor! Be sure to scrap them all up!
Dice one nice size onion and one head of garlic. Cut two leeks in half and then slice. Saute the onion and garlic in the dutch oven with the lamb drippings. Salt well to sweat the onion.
Get the leeks soaking in enough cold water to cover to clean.
Chop eight turnips into pieces roughly the same size as the lamb cubes.
Also chop six carrots.
Also, four turnips.
Also, eight potatoes. Last of the chopping, I promise! I grabbed a variety out of the potato basket. I think I had a few yukon gold, a few red and a few blue potatoes.
All of the root vegetables join the onion and garlic in the dutch oven. Saute ten minutes or so.
Strain the leeks and add them into the dutch oven as well.
Next I ventured out to the deck to see what fresh herbs I could round-up. Believe it or not, I still have options! I grabbed some oregano, parsley and thyme. Bundle them together and tie with butchers twine.
Add the herb bundle, one cup of red wine, four cups of beef broth, and the lamb into the dutch oven. Also season well with fresh ground sea salt and pepper. Let me talk about the wine for a moment. I am a firm believer that if you won’t drink it, you shouldn’t cook with it. I use whatever wine is in the fridge for drinking.
Bring the stew to a boil. Turn down slightly and allow to come down to a slow boil for about ten minutes to jump-start the cooking of the root vegetables.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for a few hours until the stew has thickened to your liking and the vegetables are tender. I did not promise this was a quick meal. I do promise that it is worth every minute!
When the stew is just about done, take a minute and slice up a loaf of your favorite bread. I picked up a loaf of organic honey wheat at the farmers’ market that was perfect for the occasion.
When the stew has thickened to your liking, remove the herb bundle and serve. One bowl is more than a meal!