Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tasty Tasty Tasty Lamb Stew

Oh my god.  I love this recipe.  It's easy.  It's tasty.  Kids like it, but it's also classy enough that when you serve it to company, you look like a friggin' culinary genius.

That said, it's likely a weekend dish, as it really does require a couple hours to simmer itself into melting tenderness.  Serve over rice (brown or white) with some kind of vegetable.  Hide the leftovers from your spouse.

This comes from A TASTE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN, by Jacqueline Clark and Joanna Farrow.  Last I looked, it seemed to be out of print, but this cookbook is so consistently good it would be worth it to hunt down a used copy and sell your Beamer to pay for it.

Tasty Lamb Stew

3 TBSP olive oil (divided)
3-3.5 lbs lamb fillet, cut into 2-inch cubes (I just use lamb stew meat.  It works dandy).
1 large onion, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup dry sherry (I just use your generic cooking sherry.  Works dandy).
4 oz. fresh or frozen f-f-f-f-fava beans (sorry--you knew I was going to do that). 
2 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
Salt and fresh-ground black pepper  

  1. Heat to medium high 2 TBSP of the oil in a heavy, flame proof casserole dish or dutch oven (now might be a good time to ask your mother for some Le Creuset . . . )
  2. Heat the meat and brown on all sides.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  (I usually do the meat in two batches).  
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, then add the onions and cook for five minutes or so, until soft.  Return the meat to the pot. 
  4. Add the garlic cloves, the bay leaf, the paprika, and the sherry.  Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer gently for 2 hours.  Feel free to stir it once or twice in that time to make sure all the meat is soaking in the juices. 
  5. Test the meat.  At this point it should be fall-off-your fork tender.  If it's not, cook for another 10-20 minutes, still on low.  
  6. When the meat is tender enough, add the fava beans.  Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.  
  7. Stir in parsley and serve.  

Family Ratings

Lucy, who is likely the most culinarily adventurous 11-year-old you've ever met:  10
Jamie, who spends most of his meals trying to get Lucy to laugh:  8
Will, who's never liked meat he needs to pick from his teeth:  8
Ellen, who thinks baby sheep are cute and isn't much of a meat eater:  7
Paul, who thinks this is the tastiest stew he's ever encountered:  10