Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lamb Stew

We just got back from a weekend in NH with my folks, and brought a little bit of a cold home with us.  I really wanted to make a spicy soup to clear the sinuses and I thought this would do the trick... 

It ended up soaking up almost all the liquid and wasn't quite as spicy as I would have liked, but that doesn't mean it wasn't so tasty! The original recipe called it "Spicy Lamb Stew" - I didn't have Hungarian Paprika so instead I mixed sweet paprika, cayenne, and chile powder - I should have added red pepper flakes too.  Next time!

It was super easy to make too!  It called for pureed tomatoes.  Since I didn't have any, I bought whole tomatoes and pureed them with my immersion blender.  That thing is amazing - no splatter!

Also, I already had ground lamb in the freezer (I bought in on sale before I left) so I used that instead of stew meat.  I'd definitely recommend going the stew meat route if you are going to the store to buy it. I think it would add another texture element.

We really did enjoy this recipe.  I served it over short grain brown rice and it was filling. I do find that lamb is a little greasier than most other meats.  I wonder if it would be less greasy with stew meat.  Also, those aren't beans - they're raisins.  The raisins add a great bit of sweetness to complement all of the savory flavors.  I think you'll really enjoy this one!

Lamb Stew
from Simply Recipes
Serves 4


2-3 lbs of lamb shoulder stew meat, cut into 1½-inch cubes
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 dry pasilla chiles, chopped, stems and most seeds removed
1 Tbsp hot Hungarian paprika*
1½ teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground cardamon
1½ cups chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free version)
14 oz of canned whole tomatoes, put through a food mill, or puréed
8-10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
4-5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup raisins
Salt and pepper
* Hot Hungarian paprika is not the regular Hungarian paprika which is sweet and mild. It is even hotter than cayenne. If you don't have access to hot paprika, I would substitute 1/2 with sweet paprika and 1/2 with chili powder.


1. Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel. Drying the lamb this way first will help the lamb pieces brown. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy, high-sided pot, such as a Dutch oven, over medium high heat. When the pot is hot, add the lamb pieces in batches, being careful not to crowd them. Cook, turning as needed so that the lamb pieces brown evenly on all sides, for 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

2. Return the pot to medium-high heat. Add the onions, dried peppers and red bell peppers and stir to coat with the oil in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.

3. Make a bouquet garni by placing the parsley, thyme and bay leaf in the center of a doubled over cheesecloth square. Gather the ends and secure with kitchen string.

4. Stir in the paprika, cumin, and cardamom and cook for a minute. Add the puréed (or cooked tomatoes put through a food mill) tomatoes, lamb, chicken stock, raisins and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil over high heat, decrease heat to low. Cook, partially covered, for about 3 hours, or until lamb is tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve over couscous or rice.

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