1 lb boneless lamb cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 T flour
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 pinches of salt
2 T olive oil
3 strips of meaty bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into chunks
8 oz cremini mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into thick chunks
3 large garlic cloves, chopped or smashed
3/4 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 lb unpeeled yellow or red potatoes, scrubbed, bad spots removed, and cut into large pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 t tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dried thyme
1/8 t dried rosemary
1 T parsley, chopped
Optional garnish: chopped chives or sliced green onions
Spoon Mage™ Note:
For this dish, like so many others, it is important to prep all the ingredients before starting. Trust me on this one. Madly rushing about peeling and slicing carrots at the last minute is not very mindful. Exception to pre-prepping: the potatoes. They must be done right before tipping them into the pot.
Preheat Oven to 300˚F.
Slice the lamb stirring in the combined flour, black pepper, and salt. Cover all the available meat surfaces. Place in the refrigerator on a plate or in a bowl.
Use a 3 quart pot, one with an oven safe lid. I use a Dutch oven. Set the pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, add the bacon pieces, stirring every now and then until they are nicely browned. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Alternative: stop cooking the bacon short of being crisp and leave it in the pot. The pieces will finish browning up nicely along with the veggies that are added next.
Raise the stove top temperature to medium high. You may need to add a bit more olive oil – that depends upon how fatty your bacon was. Add one tablespoon of olive oil now if the pot looks dry.
Tip in the onions and mushrooms. Stir infrequently, letting the slices stay in contact with the pot long enough to become a pretty brown. The veggies do not have to completely caramelize, just brown. First they will exude their liquids and then they will brown up nicely.
Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Hey, I said constantly. Stop looking at the phone.
Scrape the floured meat into the pot, stirring constantly for 1 minute. The point of this is not to brown the meat, but to incorporate the flour with the veggies and flour combines far easier when it is attached to a vehicle such as the meat.
Add the wine, stirring to scrape all the lovely browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
Reduce the heat to medium low and add the beef stock, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, parsley, and reserved bacon if you pulled it out earlier. Stir well.
Cover with the oven-proof lid, if your oven is not yet preheated keep it on low on the stove until the oven is ready.
Place the hot stew, still covered, into the oven. Cook for 3 hours, stirring about 2/3 of the way through. If your lid is not tight, you may need to add a little more stock, just remember it’s stew, not soup. Taste and adjust seasonings to suit you. You might like it more peppery, or maybe you are used to more salt. Some of you will want more rosemary – I like rosemary in the background for this dish. If you like more add it in pinches, being careful to not overdo it.
Serve with your favorite biscuits or rolls.