Saturday, August 23, 2008
Yes, I know it's August... and yes I realize I live in FL and I even know that it seems pretty weird for me to making lamb stew in August, but I did it anyway. Actually it worked out rather well as it was the perfect, comforting dish to eat through that nasty Tropical Storm Fay. It was windy and rainy and there was more water out there than I can even begin to tell you. Because I work for a 24 hour technical support call center I had to go to work in all that nastiness, and I came home rather soaked 2 days in a row... so this cold weather comfort food was more than welcome this week.
This isn't quite the most traditional Irish lamb stew out there (I use white wine in it), but it will certainly warm you up once the days start getting cooler. At first glance this may seem like a rather expensive recipe, but it costs me around $25 to make (check your local discount club like Sam's, BJ's or Costco for the lamb, it's usually MUCH cheaper there, I normally manage to pick up boneless lamb roasts for about $16) and feeds my hungry family of 6 for 2 days... AND it's one of those dishes that's even better the second day, so it won't seem like sloppy leftovers (ok, hopefully I'm done with the run-on sentences for now)! I like to make this on a Sunday and save the leftovers for a busy night when I need something quick.
1/2 lb thickly sliced bacon, diced
3-4 pounds boneless lamb leg, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
4 cups beef or lamb stock
2 bay leaves
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 cups baby carrots
3-4 potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups frozen green beans
1 can peas, drained
Saute bacon in large dutch oven until crisp, reserve fat in the pan and set bacon aside.
Put lamb, salt, pepper and flour in large mixing bowl and toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat. Add onions and garlic and continue to cook a few more minutes until onions begin to soften. Add wine, stock, water, sugar, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender.
Add bacon pieces, carrots and potatoes and continue simmering, covered, about 20 minutes, until potatoes and carrots are tender. Add the green beans and peas just before the carrots and potatoes are done. Taste and adjust seasoning.