My Young Diabetic Friend approached me the other day and said, “I sense a trend going on.”
I looked at him sort of blankly when he said, “You have a lot of apples at your house right now, don’t you?”
Well…yeah. I do. And my recipes over the last couple of weeks have reflected that. Not that it’s necessarily a bad thing, but if you’re tired of apples, I do apologize. And as a way to make up for it, there are absolutely no apples in this recipe at all.
Last Friday I announced on Facebook – my personal page, no the blog’s page – that I was going to make Beef Bourguignon for dinner on Saturday; it just sounded like a good idea. That was before we went to visit our friends at Whitefeather Meats, where we were gifted with nearly 10 pounds of the most beautiful venison. We also purchased a pound of Lamb Stew meat.
We’re not big lamb eaters, but I thought it might be nice for a change and abandoned my plans for Mrs. Child’s most famous dish. And, quite frankly, I’m glad I did because this stew was so very good. The lamb wasn’t in the least bit gamey and the dish wasn’t heavy at all; it had a lovely, fresh citrus undertone that was just delicious. I also think we may become more enthusiastic consumers of lamb, because before going back for seconds, Beloved turned to me and said, “Spring lamb next year?”
Oh, I think so. Yes. Yes, indeed.
The original recipe for this stew, which I’ve modified quite a bit, called for chick peas. Even if I had no problem with canned legumes, I probably wouldn’t have used them because I really don’t care for chick peas. So I substituted roasted fingerling potatoes, and it turned out really well (it would also be quite good with the potatoes omitted and served over steamed jasmine rice, if you’re so inclined).
Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients; the stew is really quite simple. You could add the fingerlings and cook them with the stew, of course, but I quite liked the textural contrast of the crispy roasted potatoes.
- For the lamb:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2″ cubes
- For the stew:
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 whole cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon honey
- For the potatoes:
- 1 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a mixing bowl, toss the lamb with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cardamom and salt unitl the meat is well coated. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of the lamb, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb.
- Reduce the heat to medium; add the whole garlic cloves, onions and carrots to the pot and sweat for 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh ginger and continue cooking until fragrant, an additional minute or so. Stir in the tomato paste, then return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken stock, apricots, and honey.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender.
- About 45 minutes before the lamb is done, preheat the oven to 425 F. In a mixing bowl, toss the potatoes with the olive oil and a little salt and pepper until the potatoes are well coated. Spread on a shallow, rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and easily pierced with a fork.
- Stir the roasted potatoes into the stew. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro, if desired, and serve right out of the pot.
- Nutrition (per serving): 510 calories, 24.5g total fat, 78.4mg cholesterol, 817.4mg sodium, 1309.6mg potassium, 43.4g carbohydrates, 5.5g fiber, 15.8g sugar, 30.3g protein