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Lamb Recipes
from
Sheepy Hollow at Native Oaks Farm

Charlie’s Incredible Lamb Stew with Varied Vegetables

Charlie, my husband, does most of the cooking around Sheepy Hollow and has for the last six or seven years; and he’s become terribly good. One of his favorites is lamb stew and, my, oh my, he does a wonderful job at it. I’ll let him describe it.

“My lamb stew is a variation on the most famous lamb stew recipe in existence – Julia’s Child’s Navarin Printinier (this recipe can be found in her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Ms. Child preferred using mutton, rather than lamb, because of the increased flavor in the more adult meat. I do, too.

“The recipe that follows is quite different than that of Ms. Child. For one, I do not use potatoes (because of my own personal dietetic needs). Navarin Printanier also suggested an alternative to potatoes might be made. I like to use parsnips and zucchini instead.

“I think proper browning – of the onions, garlic and mushrooms separately from the lamb (or mutton) pieces – is very important. You want to get the meat thoroughly browned on the outside, but not cooked throughout – you want the stewing procedure to do the real cooking. I brown, in butter, the onion, garlic and mushrooms in the stewing pot and then remove them and brown the meat also in butter.

“Here’s the recipe I follow for a group of 6 people. Following it carefully will provide you a stew with pretty intense flavor with a bit of sweetness to it. I do this stew mostly in the winter time, but, in fact, it is good all year long.

“One of Julia Child’s masterful secrets for this stew is to cook it a day ahead of time and then allow it to sit overnight and longer in your refrigerator. Heat it up on the stove top just before dinner time, adding your peas and green beans, and your guests will find this a very special dish.”

INGREDIENTS:

A covered casserole large enough to hold all the meat, vegetables and liquids.
3 lbs of lamb or mutton stew meat.
1 Tb sugar
1 tsp salt
¼tsp pepper
2 to 3 cups of lamb or beef stock or high quality canned beef bouillon
42 ozs of diced tomatoes (I used high quality canned tomatoes)
2 or 3 gloves of mashed garlic
¼tsp of thyme (I used dried thyme)
1 bay leaf

Vegetables and liquid…
6 peeled, sliced carrots
2 or 3 stalks of sliced celery
6 peeled turnips or parsnips (I’ll sometimes use zucchini)
1 lg chopped white onion
1 cup or more of green peas (I use frozen but fresh shelled peas would be wonderful)
1 cup or more of green beans cut into pieces
2 to 3 cups of red wine
(I also like to add a ½ cup of dry Marsala wine also)

Procedure:

Brown the onions, garlic and mushrooms in butter in a skillet
Brown the lamb meat in butter in your large casserole
Sprinkle salt and sugar on the meat as it browns
Get the meat nice and brown but don’t let its interior cook
Add the onions, garlic and mushroom to the meat and turn down to low
Add the beef or lamb stock
Add the diced tomatoes
Add the wine and (if you use it) the Marsala
Add the carrots, celery and the turnips, parsnips and or zucchini
Add the thyme
Stir it all and allow it to cook on low, bubbling slightly
Add boiling water if you need more liquid (you may not)
Allow to cook for 3 to 4 hours on low temperature
Allow to only bubble slightly (no hard, rapid boil)
Refrigerate overnight or for several hours

30 to 45 minutes before serving
Remove from the refrigerator and bring to a soft boil
Add the peas and green beans and give them enough time to cook
Basting the peas and/or beans will allow them to gather flavor
Taste and add-in salt or sugar if you think it needs it (it probably won’t)

I hope you’re more than pleased with this dinner. I think your guests will swoon. I like to serve the stew with a small salad (spinach, cucumber slices, small tomatoes with a dry vinaigrette dressing, along with a French baguette and butter)

A dry red wine won’t hurt a thing!


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