Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Rustic Lamb Stew, Crock pot style

Mmm, Lamb. I love lamb, always have. I remember my mom making baby lamb chops for me as a birthday present, a great present, as they certainly weren't cheap and we certainly weren't rich. But damn, they were good. I hear people say about lamb today, "modern lamb", that it's not as gamy tasting and not as strong smelling as it used to be. Personally, I liked the odor, liked the strong, strong flavor.
I recently found that the grocery store I frequent carries "Lamb for stew", cubes of pretty lean lamb. I bought a package and went in search of recipe. I found this one on recipezarr and gave it a try, changing up a couple of things (Mushrooms! We must have mushrooms!). I was very impressed. It has a deep woodsy flavor, hearty and very satisfying. I have made it twice more since, including once with a combination of beef and pork instead of lamb.

1 1/2 lbs boneless lean lamb stew meat, cut in 1 inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed dry thyme leaves
1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
1 large onion, sliced thin
2 cups of water
1 cup bite sized carrot chuncks (about 1/2 pound or more or as much as you want)
2 cups diced potatoes
1 pound Crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. Sprinkle the lamb with 1/2 t salt and the pepper.
2. Dredge the lamb in the flour to coat.
3. Heat the olive oil in a 2 to 3 quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
4. Brown lamb a few pieces at a time in the hot oil. Be sure not to crowd it while browning.
5. Remove the browned lamb to the crock pot with a slotted spoon.
6. Reduce heat under the Dutch oven to medium.
7. Add the sliced onion and cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally until lightly browned.
8. Stir in the water scraping up browned bits on bottom of pot.
9. Transfer the onion mixture to the crock pot; add carrots, mushrooms and potatoes to the crock pot, too.
10.Cover the crock pot and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, adding peas during the last 30 to 45 minutes (or earlier if youlike them a bit more mushy!).

As mentioned above, I made it once with beef and pork instead of lamb, but only because I was craving a hearty stew and Kroger was out of lamb that week. That version was pretty good, also.


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