Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lamb Stew

I love stews, whether beef, veal, lamb or fish. Last night we had a Provencal Lamb Stew, with hints of orange. It was really tasty and the whole family enjoyed it!
I served it with small tomato bow-tie pasta. and beware... you have to marinate the lamb overnight and, for the meat to be tender and melt in your mouth,  it cooks a really long time!!!

Lamb Stew

Serves 6

4 Lbs lamb shoulder cut into 2 inch cubes

2 small onions, diced
3 sticks celery, diced
4 carrots, diced
1/2 cup parsley
5 garlic cloves, minced
5 twigs of fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups red wine

1/2 lb pancetta, diced
1 onion, diced
1 orange, zest (stripes really) and juice
3 garlic cloves, whole with skin on
1 cube chicken bouillon

2 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water

Prepare the marinade THE DAY BEFORE!
Mix all the ingredients from the marinade in a large bowl.
Divide the meat in two parts and transfer to two zip-loc bags. Pour half the marinade in each and toss, making sure all the pieces of meat are covered.
Refrigerate over night.

The next morning:
Drain the meat and set the marinade aside.

Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large saute pan, or dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until lightly brown and translucent. Add the pancetta and cook until becoming crisp. Do not burn!! Remove from the pan and set aside. De-glaze the pan with 1/4 cup red wine if necessary.

Heat 2 more Tbsp olive oil in the same dutch oven and add half the lamb. Cook quickly until brown on all sides. Set aside and repeat with the remaining meat.

When the second half of the meat is nicely browned, add the first batch, the pancetta and onions. Sprinkle the chicken bouillon cube on top. Add the stripes of orange zest, the garlic and the marinade. Add the juice of the orange.
Mix well. At this point you may decide to add about another cup of wine. Add water to almost cover the meat. Stir again to mix the flavors.

Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to really low and cover. Cook for about 6 to 7 hours to get the meat nice and tender, stirring occasionally.

About an hour before the end of cooking time, you can add a mixture of flour and water to thicken the sauce a bit.

Serve with boiled potatoes or pasta! And a nice glass of red wine!

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