Thursday, 14 March 2013
My husband is a really simple man with very simple tastes. If meat and potatoes are on the menu, he is one very happy camper indeed! He's been working really hard getting our garden Spring ready these past few days so I thought I would treat him today to a simple stew . . . which is one of his favourite meals of all.
I had some cubed leg of lamb that I had picked up at the butchers . . . perfect for a simple lamb stew. It seems kind of silly presenting this as a recipe as it's something which I just kind of throw together . . .
There might be a few of you though that would appreciate some simple instructions as to how to go about it. I can do it with my eyes closed, but that is because it is something which I have been throwing together for many, many years . . .
Stews are simple creatures . . . a bit of browned meat, some herbs, stock, a few vegetables . . . and you have something which is quite delicious and family pleasing. Today I had some Chantenay Carrots that I had picked up the other day for 50 pence. They were a bit larger than they normally are . . . each being about 4 inches in length. I thought it would be fun to simply peel them and then cut them in half before adding them to the stew.
I thought it gave a nice look to the finished dish . . . unusual . . . and in that same vein of thought, I added peeled whole new potatoes, which held their shape nicely and were not overly large. Altogether it gave a very rustic look to the finished dish, which I garnished simply with some chopped parsley and a few fresh thyme leaves . . . a bit of coarse salt and black pepper. It went down a real treat and we are both looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow . . . because as anyone knows, any stew tastes twice as good for having ripened overnight in the refrigerator.
*A Simple Stew of Lamb*
I love the simple things in life. They always please, no matter what.
1 TBS olive oil
1 pound leg of lamb cut into bite sized chunks
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 leek, washed, trimmed and cut into rounds
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 TBS flour
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 TBS dried parsley
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
hot chicken stock (about 1 litre)
4 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
(Today I used half a bag of overgrown Chantenay Carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise)
12 medium new potatoes, peeled
1 large parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
a handful of cubed Swede (Rutabaga)
Heat the oil in a medium sized heavy dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the lamb cubes, celery, onion and leek. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and the meat to brown. Once the meat has browned all over, sprinkle it with the flour, rosemary, thyme, parsley and some salt and pepper. Cook and stir to coat meat. Pour over hot chicken stock to cover, giving it all a good stir. Cover tightly and simmer for about an hour. Add the carrots, parsnip, swede and potatoes, adding more stock as necessary and leaving the potatoes whole. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a slow simmer. Cover tightly and cook until the vegetables and meat are very tender. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Spoon out into heated bowls to serve.