Friday, March 19, 2010

11. Lamb Stew & My Momma's a Runner!

Over the weekend I ran for the first time with my mom. Our race is in about 4 or 5 weeks now and she thought running together once or twice a week would be nice. Here's the difference between her and I: She's been running, I haven't. Not much anyway.

We headed out for our first run in less than friendly weather, and guess what happened. I was left in the dust by my mom. I did and didn't expect this very result. I expected her to powerhouse through our run and be successful. I didn't expect that I'd be as unsuccessful as I was. Reality check. Cassie needs to run more and soon. I certainly don't want to be that slow come race day. I know, it's all for a good cause, but I still want to feel like I did well at it. If I had to recap the whole experience, I'm proud of my mom. I promised her she'd find this success and she has.

Now on to the feel good part of the day. Since I was making the hour drive to see her she wanted to make me dinner. She picked up this stew recipe at a cooking class she went to at her local food co-op. I wasn't sure if I liked lamb. I  haven't had it since I was a kid and at that point couldn't tell you what it tasted like. She was positive this recipe was gourmet and that I would absolutely love it. Lamb Stew has a long list of ingredients and I was very surprised at how well the flavors complimented each other. It could be served alone, but we served it over couscous. Rice is an option too.

Let's start with our list of ingredients:

2lbs lamb top sirloin cut in to 1 inch pieces & patted dry. Meat wont brown as well if it isn't dried a bit.

1 large leek, 2 carrots & 1 celery stalk chopped.

3 tbsp prosciutto torn in to small pieces- We found that 3 strips from the packaged was exactly 3 tbsp.

1 tbsp fresh sage, 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, both chopped & 1 tsp red pepper flakes.

2 garlic cloves & 1/2 cup parsley chopped.

Zest & juice of 1 lemon (yes, I know this is a lime. She decided to try this instead that day).

1 - 14oz jar of artichoke hearts drained.

1 cup dry white wine (I don't think this is dry, it's just what was in the cupboard - or apple juice).

4 cups chicken broth (she chose no-chicken broth).

3 tbsp tomato paste.

And lastly, CousCous.
(Not pictured: Canola oil, olive oil, salt & pepper)

Start by heating the canola oil in a heavy soup pot or dutch oven, add the leeks and cook until tender - about 15 minutes.

Add garlic, rosemary, sage, red pepper flakes, carrots, celery & prosciutto - cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Next add your lamb.

And cook stirring occasionally until browned.

Next add 1 cup of dry white wine (or apple juice if you so choose), increase the heat to high and cook for 5 minutes.

Now add 4 cups of chicken broth and 3 tbsp tomato paste & stir well to combine. Cover and continue cooking over medium-low heat to create a steady simmer. Cook for 45 minutes or until lamb is tender.

Meanwhile, if you've chosen to prepare rice, go ahead and start that now. If you've chosen couscous like we did, five minute prior to the soup finishing go ahead and start that. It will rest while we're adding the last of our ingredients to our soup.

Add 1 - 14oz jar of drained artichoke hearts and cook for 5 minutes to warm them through. You can see the couscous finished there in the background.

When your 5 minutes is up, go ahead and add the zest & juice of 1 lemon, a little salt & pepper, 1 tsp of olive oil and 1/2 cup of chopped parsley. Go ahead and give it a good stir to combine and you're ready to serve.

Place a couple spoonfuls of couscous in your bowl and cover with the stew. You're ready to eat!

I was really happy with how this turned out. It had a wonderful combination of flavors. It's gourmet comfort food. The meat and vegetables were tender, it gave a rich taste that included sweet, spicy and tart all together. The artichoke hearts were what I wondered about the most but they really added to the soup. I was so impressed that a stew could come out this thick and hearty with no thickener like flour. It was just plain yummy. This will be a recipe to add to my favorites collection. I encourage you to try this, even if you might be skeptical of lamb. I wasn't sure I'd like the taste, but I really enjoyed it.

You'll find the recipe below copied from the handout she received at her cooking class - I hope you enjoy!

Lamb Stew


2 tbsp canola oil
1 large leek, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp red pepper flakes
2 carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 tbsp prosciutto, torn in to small pieces
2 lbs lamb top sirloin stew meat, cut in to 1 inch pieces & patted dry
1 cup dry white wine - or apple juice
4 cups low sodium chicken broth - or veggie broth
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 14oz cans artichoke hearts, drained
1 lemon, zest & juice
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper


Heat canola oil in a heavy skillet or dutch oven over medium  heat. Add leaks, cook stirring often until tender - about 15 minutes.

Add garlic, rosemary, sage, red pepper flakes, carrots, celery & prosciutto - cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add lamb and cook stirring occasionally, until browned. Add wine (or apple juice), increase heat to high & cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Add broth & tomato paste, stir well. Continue cooking at a simmer over medium-low heat until lamb is tender - About 45 minutes.

Add artichoke hearts and cook for an addition 5 minutes. Stir in lemon zest & juice, stir to combine. Add salt & pepper, sprinkle with parsley & olive oil - Stir well, then serve.

Serve over cous cous or rice. May also be served alone.


Care said...

I am super impressed with your cooking skills (I have NONE). Way to go on the run! You'll be catching up to your mom in no time. It definitely is hard to get started!! Sometimes I feel like I have brick legs!

Kate said...

That stew looks delish!

And good luck with your training!