Monday, March 16, 2009
St. Patrick's Day Lamb Stew
I set out to have an elaborate St. Patty's Day dinner this year. After all, Mark and I both boast of some Irish heritage. But alas, due to various reasons, including a grain-free, dairy-free week for me, we ended up with a lamb stew instead. I'd been saving the leg of lamb from our September local lamb purchase just for the occasion. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much though. I've enjoyed our lamb, perhaps more because I knew the local man who raised them, rather than because the lamb was actually that fantastic. It was OK tasting - a little gamey for my liking, and there were those few times that we had coarse black hair in our food...It seemed like some cuts were better than others, and I often wondered if that is the case with all lamb, or just our lamb. So, having been disappointed in the past, I didn't get my hopes up for the stew. However, it was perfect! Mark said it was honestly the best stew I have ever made. There are few ingredients, and little seasoning, so I think the secret is in the rich stock and the moist lamb. Stay tuned next year for Irish Soda Bread. ::wink::
Makes 8-10 servings
1 large boneless leg of lamb (though I'm sure bone-in would be great too)
6 cups rich chicken or beef stock
4 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 potatoes, cubed into 1/2" pieces
1 cup white or brown rice (optional)
1 bunch parsley
sea salt and pepper
Add lamb, stock, bay leaves, and garlic to crockpot. Add water to cover lamb.
Cook on low for about 4 hours.
Add potatoes. Cook another 3 hours. (I suppose this *could* be done in the beginning, but I didn't want to risk mush.)
One hour before serving, add rice. (At this point, I took the lamb out and started cutting it up into little pieces, reserving in a glass bowl until the rice was done. I just didn't want to risk dried out meat...which has been the case with much of my grass-fed meat. I'm still getting used to it!)
Season to taste, and be festive - garnish with parsley.
*Optional add-ins: sauteed onion and kale; white beans; carrots.