Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lamb stew

I going to start this post with this HUGE disclaimer.  I am not a food blogger.  Oh, I wish I were.  Food bloggers get to cook all day and take beautiful pictures.  I understand it's super hard to photograph food.  I have absolutely no talent for photography, so this would not work well for me.  On the other hand, I'm a pretty good cook.  The other day I made lamb stew for the family.  It's definitely one of our favorites.  Every year we purchase a local lamb and this makes up about half of the meat our family will consume for the year.  So, the day I make the lamb stew is a pretty special day because there is only so much stew meat available.  I'm blogging this recipe (sadly with no pictures) for my faithful reader Elizabeth at Just Following Jesus.  Elizabeth is an amazing photographer.  Her blog is beautiful as well as inspiring.  She is overflowing with gratitude for all the blessings in her life.  She makes everything she touches beautiful.  And her love of our lord is evident in every word she writes.  Elizabeth, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

1 lb to 2 lbs lamb stew meat.  I ask the processor to give me all my odds and ends into stew meat instead of having it ground.  I'm not sure where it comes from, but I certainly wouldn't waste a leg cutting it up for stew meat.  I have two shoulder roasts left in the freezer and the processor has NEVER given me a shoulder roast before.  I think he usually cut them up for shoulder chops.  I may cut the shoulder chops into stew meat and make this again.  I almost forgot, trim the stew meat as best you can.  I don't think lamb fat is very tasty at all.  The less the better, in my humble opinion.

Brown the lamb in a couple or three Tbs of olive oil.  Salt and pepper the lamb before browning.  Add 6 or 7 large spring onions (chopped up. please use as much of the green as you can, but chop the green part a bit smaller) and 3 or 4 ribs of celery (chopped) after the lamb is beginning to brown.  Btw, I try to chop the celery and spring onion about the same size as the veggies I'm going to roast.  I'm guessing about an inch.

The vegetables are crucial.  Actually, roasting the vegetables is much more crucial than which veggies you actually use.  Although, the delicate flavor of the lamb goes best with more delicately flavored veggies.  I like to use carrots (about 5 or 6), turnips (about 10, depending on the size) and fennel bulb (one or two, depending on the size and whether or not you like fennel a lot or just a little).  I chop the carrots into coins.  Depending on the size of the turnips, I chop them to match the size of the carrots.  I do as well as I can to match the size of the fennel bulb chop.  Toss with a couple or three Tbs of olive oil, a little salt and pepper, then spread on a baking sheet.  Roast at 400 until the veggies are caramelized or pretty brownish (about half an hour).

Back to the lamb.  Add the following to the pot.
1 box of low sodium chicken stock (or 3 cups of home made chicken stock)
1/3 bottle of white wine (I like the fruitiness of a Pinot Grigio)
1 1/2 cups of orange juice (I like to use real oranges, so if you use less don't worry, the flavor is better)
A palm (1 Tbs) full of coriander and a palm of fennel seeds and a palm of orange zest (when you use real oranges this works out great)
If you have any fresh herbs in your refrigerator, mince them and add to this pot.

Let this pot simmer for an hour and a half, uncovered.

When the lamb is tender and the pot has cooked down a bit, add the veg and heat through.

Because I don't flour the lamb before browning the broth is a bit thinner than beef stew.  Therefore, I like to serve this stew over a scoop of mashed sweet potatoes.  I just peel and chop and boil the sweet potatoes and mash them.  No butter.

This stew has a lighter and sweeter flavor than beef stew.  I think it works perfectly with the veggies that are available in my area at this time of the year.  One special thing I'm proud to share is that everything (except the carrots and oranges and olive oil) come from within 20 miles of my home.  I love eating local.  I hope you enjoy this stew as much as our family enjoys it.

214.  I'm going on vacation tomorrow
215.  I'm going to be with my husband and away from all responsibilities for two weeks
216.  I have enough vacation time earned to do this
217.  I don't think my boss will fire me even though I'll be gone this long
218.  I know even if he does fire me, I'll be ok
219.  Seeing acquaintances I haven't seen for a whole year
220.  Seeing friends I haven't seen for a whole year
221.  Relaxing in the sun
222.  Reading for pleasure
223.  Going to restaurants
224.  The ocean
225.  Time to myself 

I'm linking with Becky at Feed my Family Friday (this is most likely a rare occurrence)  

I didn't take this picture, and I'm sure the lamb I get is a bit bigger than this one


  1. Elizabeth StewartMay 3, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    I am sooooo excited to try this recipe!!! When I do, I will blog about it and give you all the credit!

  2.  I know you will take pictures.  I will enjoy those most of all.  I hope the stew is delicious.  :)

  3. ok you may not be a food blogger...but you def made me hungry...this sounds really good...dont know if i have ever had lamb stew you know...

  4. I love stew, so I might have to give this a try.

    Have a wonderful vacation!

  5. Nice of you to spread happiness by sharing your recipe. 

  6. And you can also use the bones to make bone broth! yummy!

  7. I wish I was a foodie. It really don't like cooking or taking pics of food. It usually looks gross. Thanks for linking up. You're very adventurous with the lamb. I'm almost 100% positive my family would freak out if I cooked one. Have fun on vacay.

  8. oooh delicious that recipe sounds great especially the pino grigio.  ;)


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