Thursday, April 18, 2013

Lamb Stew from Southern France

Who likes a good, hearty bowl of stew?

Lamb Stew of Southern France

Stew VeggiesOne starting with a bowl full of tender veggies...

Lamb Cubes...Followed by some hearty, tender lamb...

Beginning of Lamb Stew...Finished with a fistful of dried fruit and a whole bottle of delicious red wine?

Well, this pot of goodness has it all. My mom and I picked up a whole, bone-in leg of spring lamb while we were out shopping just before Easter, and since we were expecting company for the holiday dinner my mom wanted to make something hearty and slightly exotic to eat but also a meal that was easy on the cook! We also bought a package of whole wheat Israeli couscous, which I'd had (and loved) before but the rest of the family had never tried. This new side dish gave my mom the idea of a low-n-slow stew with the lamb, and left it to me to find a recipe.

Well, I couldn't find a single recipe that really "fit" with my family's needs and tastes - so I cobbled together three or four from different books and websites to create one of our very own! It has everything that a good pot of warming, hearty fare should have: tender chunks of lean meat, a classic mirepoix, lots of garlic and wine, not to mention a hearty, spicy broth made even richer tasting with the flavour of the cracked bone simmering alongside the edibles. Two and a half hours later, the bone is taken out and the remainder is a sight, smell and taste to behold - velvety soft, fork tender and simply begging to be spooned over your favourite rice or grain.

Shared with Gluten Free Friday and Foodie Friday.

Lamb Stew from Southern France
Serves 10
5 lbs bone-in leg of lamb (about 3 ½ lbs meat)
1/3 cup fine rice or corn flour, sifted
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp mustard powder
¼ cup olive oil
2 large, sweet onions, halved and sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
5 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
3 stalks celery, sliced
1tbsp ground coriander
1tbsp ground cumin
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
750 mL bottle good Merlot or Burgundy wine
1 ½ cups chicken broth
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Zest of ½ lemon
8 garlic cloves, halved
20 prunes, halved
30 dried apricots, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cracking BonesSlice the lamb meat off the bone and cube. Using a mallet, crack the bone in a few places and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the rice flour, salt, pepper and mustard powder in a dish and dredge the cubed meat.
  3. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven and fry meat in batches until well browned. Remove to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pot and stir in the onions, minced garlic, carrots and celery.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes over medium flame.
  6. Add all the spices and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, until fragrant.
  7. Add the lamb back to the pot, add the bone and pour in the wine and chicken broth.
  8. Stir in the tomato paste, thyme sprigs, lemon zest, halved garlic cloves and fruit.
  9. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  10. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender.
  11. Remove the bone and cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes longer. 
  12. Serve over brown rice, whole wheat Israeli couscous or your favourite ancient grain (quinoa, kasha or millet is great!)
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 493.1
Total Fat: 18.4 g
Cholesterol: 100.2 mg
Sodium: 454.4 mg
Total Carbs: 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
Protein: 34.9 g

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