so we have this freezer full of baby lamb, right? i found this lovely sounding recipe on food network the other day & it sounded so lovely, i couldn’t possibly wait another second. turmeric, cumin, cardamom, ginger, garlic, cilantro and lamb? i nearly passed out:
braised lamb stew
recipe adapted from danny boome
for the lamb:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless leg of lamb, 1 1/2-inch cubes
for the stew:
- 1 onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 carrots, roughly diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
- 1 lemon, zested
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro leaves
in a mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cardamom and salt. mix well until the mixture has turned into a paste, if the paste is too thick add a little more olive oil. add the cubed lamb to the bowl and toss around to coat well. cover and set aside.
heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. add 1/3 of the lamb, and brown well. remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb.
add onions and carrots to the pot and sweat for 5 minutes. stir in the fresh garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes. stir in the tomato paste and chick peas, then return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken stock, apricots, and honey.
bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender. sprinkle the stew with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
after tasting the spice & oil mixture, it seemed bland…so i added several pinches more of each spice, along with a few extra cloves of garlic & twice the ginger. the finished product was still a bit lifeless…i would love to try some curry with it next time. the apricots & honey also made it too sweet for me; even after adding more than enough of the kosher salt & extra ginger & such. i also deglazed the pan with a good pinot gris before adding the meat back into the vegetables…i couldn’t believe there wasn’t a spot of wine in the recipe!
i would highly recommend this recipe to anyone; it’s a complete no-brainer. even with having to bone my own lamb shoulder, it was still pretty quick & super easy. i served it alongside roasted fingerling potatoes just with some olive oil, kosher salt & parsley, and some steamed haricot verts…and of course a lovely oregon pinot noir. just don’t forget the additional ginger & garlic, along with some salt…otherwise it’s sweet as fuck…unless you like that type of thing.