Traditional lamb stew

This is what dreams are made of.

I love lamb. Period. A lot of people don’t like the gamey flavor or the fatty nature of lamb, but I think it’s an absolutely beautiful meat. It’s tender, rich, and oh, so filling. There’s really nothing you can’t do with a few chunks of lamb shoulder and some low, slow cooking.

With that in mind, M gleefully threw a package of mysterious lamb meat into the basket while we were at Ranch 99 the other day. After stashing it in the freezer and mulling the options over for a bit, I looked outside, and we decided that lamb stew would be the best thing for our approaching winter season.

Seriously, pheasants, it’s been hailing like Mother Nature is trying her best to unload all her hail supply before the snow comes in for the season. It’s madness. Pouring rain, driving winds, and snow is predicted for tomorrow…snow. In November. We never get snow in November!

So, tonight, we’re hunkering down with a crackling fire and some piping hot apple cider to enjoy our evening, while this delicious, beautiful stew bubbles away. The best part? This is a crock pot recipe. Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Rainy Day Lamb Stew

1 to 1 1/2 lbs lamb (bone-in, trimmed of fat {which you reserved, yes?})

2 russet potatoes, cut into chunks

1 red onion, sliced thin

4 cloves garlic, sliced thin

4 Crimini mushrooms, quartered

2 carrots, cut into chunks

1 tbsp pepper, divided

1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp dried thyme

3 sprigs rosemary, minced

1/4 c flour

3/4 c water

1/3 c port wine

In a medium frying pan, place two to three larger chunks of lamb fat on medium.

Place the flour in a small bowl, then mix it with salt and 1/3 tablespoon of pepper. Dredge the lamb in the flour, and, when the fat has adequately melted, crank up the heat to medium-high and sear the chunks, turning them periodically to sear all sides. Transfer the seared pieces directly into your crock pot. While the lamb pieces are searing, add the potatoes, carrots, garlic and mushrooms to the crock pot, using a ladle to mix everything up fairly well.

Once all the lamb is seared and transferred, turn down the heat to medium and place the onions in the pan. Brown them, making sure to get all the pieces well. Once they’re done, pour in the port and deglaze the pan. Add the rosemary and remaining pepper, then cook the wine down until it’s about reduced to half, then add the water, bring to a boil, and pour the onion-wine-water mix into the crock pot. Set it to low and let it go for 8 to 10 hours.

Before serving, skim off any excess fat from the stew.

Serving this with some hearty, crusty bread is good to soak up all the delicious, rich juices. This is definitely a hot, delightful dish for the winter season.

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Filed under Red meat, Seasonal, Winter

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