Lamb StewDecember 15th, 2017 2 comments
‘Tis the season where the slow cooker is your friend! It’s getting cold outside and we want food that warms us up from the inside out. My mother was, and still is quite the cook. Since she was a hard working mother with very active kids, the slow cooker was a lifesaver many times. One of favorite recipes she would prepare was beef stew. Not only was it hearty and delicious, but she didn’t need to constantly check a pot on the stove or look in the oven to make it wasn’t burning. Working in the New York City, and now being a mother I completely understand this! Therefore, I decided to do a spinoff of an old family favorite, this time using lamb. It’s good to switch things up from time to time. Lamb stew meat often gets over looked in the meat department, but not for long.
Unlike many stews, this stew does not need to be thickened at the end. This recipe starts the thickening process at the beginning by adding the flour during the searing process. You can use chicken broth as the cooking liquid but quite often I just use water. Since the meat cooks for 3 hours it ends up making it’s on broth. I add to the seasoning of the “broth” by adding a carrot, onion, and celery stick at the beginning. Since these add to the flavor of the broth, I usually discard them because I do not want a stew with mushy vegetables. The vegetables that are actually served in the stew are added an hour before its finished. Why? This way the potatoes and other vegetables are not complete mush when you go to eat it. So get those slow cookers ready and let’s get to cooking.
- 2 pounds lamb stew meat, 1.5-2 inch cubes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 6 medium carrots, peeled
- 3 celery salts
- 1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1, 14.5 ounce can died tomato
- 2 cups chicken broth or water
- 5 thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ pounds mini red potatoes
- 6 ounces, 1.5 cups pearl onions, peeled
- 1 cup peas, *fresh or frozen
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- Season stew meat with garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour on the meat, coating the meat evenly. Heat large skillet, preferably cast iron, on medium-high heat and add the oil. Place the meat in the pan and sear until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the seared lamb and place in the slow cooker. Repeat with the last half and place in the slow cooker once seared.
- Place one carrot, one stalk of celery and the Spanish onion halves face down in the pan. Sear the vegetables until the onion starts to turn light brown. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour on the vegetables and coat evenly. Add the canned tomato and to the skillet, stir, and then add the broth or water. Bring to a boil and pour everything into the slow cooker, along with the thyme and bay leaf. Set the slow cooker on high heat for 3 hours and cover.
- While that is cooking take the remaining 5 carrots and cut them into ½ inch rounds, cut the remaining 2 stalks of celery into half inch slices and set aside. If the potatoes are larger that one-inch in diameter, cut them in half and reserve them in a bowl of water. Rinse peas under water and set aside.
- After the stew has cooked for two hours, remove the carrot, celery stalk and two halves of onion and discard. Stir in the cut carrots, celery, and potatoes. Sprinkle the onions on top, do not stir in to prevent over cooking. Cover and continue cooking.
- Stir in the peas and chopped parsley 5 minutes before finished cooking. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Serve while hot.
- *I like to rinse frozen peas under water or blanch them in hot water before I put them in a dish, because sometimes they have not been stored properly and can taste a little like the freezer. Doing this can help eliminate excess "flavored" water from the peas from entering into your dish.
- Try leaving out the potatoes and serving the stew over egg noodles or rice.
- This freezes really well for up to two weeks.
- Add more herbs like rosemary or sage.
- This can be done with beef or pork as well.
- Why not serve this with some fresh, hot biscuits. Try my recipe: Danielle’s Biscuits./li>