Sunday, April 1, 2012

Curried Lamb Stew by Tom

Curried Lamb Stew by Tom

Now that the weather has turned back to be more seasonally appropriate, i.e., March going out like a lion type weather, Barbara asked me to make a lamb curry with ginger stew recipe that I have made at least once every year. 

Much to my surprise I have been making this recipe, or some variant of it, since 1997 but had never written it up for the food blog.  This recipe is a major adaptation from the cookbook "Simply Stews" by Susan Wyler.  I say a major adaptation because I have significantly added to the ingredients to make it a complete meal in and of itself. 

Don't let the curry scare you away from this dish.  You can make it as hot or as mild as you like by adjusting the amount of cayenne pepper added.  Obviously we enjoy this lamb stew, and I hope you will as well.


Curried Lamb Stew
(adapted from Simply Stews by Susan Wyler)

Serves 6-8

1-28 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 1/2 - 3 lbs of boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder (you can use lamb tenderloins, but be prepared to spend $10 more per pound!)
Olive oil for browning and sauteing
2-3 small to medium size onions, coarsely chopped
10 garlic cloves minced, or 3 tablespoons of minced garlic from the jar (my preference)
2-8 oz packages of sliced portabello mushrooms
2 cans of drained white beans - butter beans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, etc - any type will do
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper - adjust this to your taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of saffron threads
2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger
1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt - adjusted to taste
Enough flour to coat the lamb cubes during browning - 1/2 - 3/4 cups
1 teaspoon corn starch to thicken the broth

I used a leg of lamb, which can have quite a bit of fat and gristle.  So while you are cubing the meat into approximately 1" size pieces, do a good job of removing as much of the fat, gristle and membrane as you can.

Coat the cubed lamb with flour.  An easy technique is to put a 1/2 cup or so of flour into a paper lunch bag.  Then just add the meat a little at a time and shake the bag up.  You will get a decent coating of the meat that way and it does not make such a big mess.

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pan with a lid, heat the pan on medium-high heat with the olive oil.  Once the olive oil is hot, brown the lamb in bunches not overcrowding the pan.  Once browned, remove from the pan to a plate and repeat the process.  If the pan is too dry, just add a little more olive oil.

After all of the meat has been browned, saute the coarsely chopped onions until they are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Next add the minced garlic and saute that for another minute.

Now throw in the portabello mushrooms.  Saute until they are shrinking and browning - another 6-7 minutes.  Be sure to stir frequently to prevent the onions and garlic from burning.  The mushrooms during sauteing will give up some liquid, so that will help prevent charring of the onions and garlic as well.

Next add the canned diced tomatoes and the halved grape tomatoes, if you are including those.  Also add the dry spices except the chopped ginger. 

Stir the whole mixture up well to get the meat, onions and mushrooms well coated with the dry spices.

Now add the beef stock, chopped ginger and the red wine.  Bring the mixture back to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to just simmer the stew.  You should cook this for at least an hour.  Two hours is even better as it will make the meat incredibly tender.

About 15 - 20 minutes before you are ready to serve the stew, add the drained white beans to warm them up.  Also prepare the corn starch by adding it to water in a small bowl to dissolve it.  Then add the corn starch mixture to the stew to thicken the broth.

I served the stew over Texmati rice.  I substituted half of the water with leftover beef stock, which made the finished rice richer in taste and complimented the lamb stew nicely. 

As it was just Barbara and I eating our lamb stew, we had plenty of leftovers for the next couple of days.  It kept very well and was just as good day two as day one.


1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of this recipe and will try it tonight, but you should make it easier to print if you can!