Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies

December 6, 2016
Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies - If a stew could be classified as refreshing, this would be the one. Full of color and flavor, it makes for an impressive looking meal that's sure to satisfy

“If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart”     ~ Cesar Chavez

Photo Credit: Instagram - @dougthepug

Photo Credit: Instagram – @dougthepug – “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation” -Doug

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This past weekend

The kind of Saturday where you build a fire .. stay in your pajamas .. and fall asleep on the sofa snuggling with a puppy.  “We have a big pot of soup on the stove-top .. would you like to come for dinner?”  

Two wearier than usual souls .. hunkering down after a long week.  We almost didn't go.  We were sure glad we did.  The meal was incredible .. the company even better.  How could she have known?

And this is life .. without a recipe

— —

Nearly twenty years ago .. when my daughter was three

Once .. on the first sunny day after a long winter.  The kind of day where energy arrives as if pre-packaged in a vial .. I let her go crazy in the kitchen.  “Today .. we'll make whatever you'd like”

Chocolate soup .. she chose.  The countertops were littered with jars from the fridge .. bottles from the pantry.  Chocolate chips .. cocoa powder .. walnuts .. ketchup .. leftover pasta .. a banana.  A handful of dates (pits still intact).  Everything into the blender

Imagine the smell and you're probably not too far off

And this is life without a recipe

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies - If a stew could be classified as refreshing, this would be the one. Full of color and flavor, it makes for an impressive looking meal that's sure to satisfy

Today

One of the greatest gifts in life .. is to be married to a man who not only can cook .. but does

He's a wizard with everything on the grill .. turkey pot pies .. any number of spicy salsas .. chili .. and pasta dishes filled with all things delicious.  Weekend mornings he makes sure we have breakfast-in-bed .. and his cookbook orders from Amazon .. leave me a little

weak in the knees

Although he never uses them

And this is life without a recipe

— — —

Thanksgivings Past

A friend whose grandmother made the family's beloved New England shrimp dip.  It was her signature dish.  The one thing everyone looked forward to year after year.  It appeared like magic in a Lenox dish every Thanksgiving .. often Christmas .. and occasionally Easter (if they were lucky)

As she grew older .. they begged her to write it down .. perhaps someone would try making it for a summer barbecue?

When she finally did .. dementia had discovered her.  Instead of cream cheese .. she'd written sour cream and made a few mistakes in the measurements of garlic and hot sauce.

No one has had a bite of the shrimp dip since

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies - If a stew could be classified as refreshing, this would be the one. Full of color and flavor, it makes for an impressive looking meal that's sure to satisfy

And this is life without a recipe

Sometimes it's unexpected .. creative .. and magical.  A quickening of your pulse as you take in the sun's energy .. the countertop messes .. and spontaneity

Sometimes it's thing of legends

Sometimes it's simply there to say “I love you”

— — —

I've come to realize that when I'm on the receiving end .. it's easy to become lax when it comes my own cooking.

It wasn't that long ago really .. when I was the sole chef in the kitchen.  Every night it was up to me to step up to the stove and make something happen .. no matter how long or unfortunate the day .. and strange though it may seem

it was never something I minded

For the better part of my adult life .. it's the kitchen that's been my place to think .. brainstorm .. and sort things through.  The place that forces me to slow down and settle into my senses.  There's no match for the active meditation of chopping a bowl of veggies .. or running my knife through a big pile of kale

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies - If a stew could be classified as refreshing, this would be the one. Full of color and flavor, it makes for an impressive looking meal that's sure to satisfy

Cooking has a way of making sense of the days .. and to make something beautiful of them.  It makes me generous.  It makes me someone I want to spend time with.  I didn't realize any of this .. of course .. until a certain man came along and .. ever so sweetly .. with the best of intentions

started doing some of it for me

Sometimes .. during these seasons .. when he's taking the lead .. I find myself not quite sure what to do with myself n the kitchen.  So this weekend .. I decided it was time for a change.  In search of inspiration .. I settled on something slow and quiet .. something that would make the house warm and sweet-smelling.  Something I could cook largely without a recipe

A nod toward the colder weather that's finally settled upon us

Ina Garten's Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables is a riff on Julia Child's .. and it sounded like just the thing.

A fragrant soup made from the lamb .. fresh herbs .. and lot of veggies.  It can be a bit time-consuming to make (think:  all of that chopping) ..  but aside from that .. it's pretty straightforward.  With a different veggie added every now and then, it mainly cooks itself.

If a stew could be classified as refreshing .. this would be the one. Full of color and flavor .. it makes for an impressive looking meal that's sure to satisfy.

Serve with a salad and a side of crusty bread for soaking up the sauce

Enjoy!

xoxo

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~ Adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten who adapted her recipe from Julia Child

Lamb Stew with Spring Veggies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 12 Servings
Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • ¼ lb smoked bacon, 1" diced
  • 2½ - 3 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, diced into bite-size pieces
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour (or spelt)
  • 2-3 Tbsp minced garlic (6-8 cloves)
  • 2 cups beef stock (homemade is best)
  • 1 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, diced (preferred: San Marzano)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, minced
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally ~ 2" thick
  • 12 oz Yukon Gold potatoes, 2" diced
  • 8-10 oz pearl onions, peeled
  • 6 small turnips, whole or halved (~ 1 pound)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted and at room temp
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen green peas
  • ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg F
  2. Heat a small glug of olive oil in a large ovenproof pot or Dutch oven, over medium heat
  3. Add the bacon and cook for ~ 5 minutes, or until the pieces have browned
  4. Transfer the bacon to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan
  5. In a small bowl, toss the lamb pieces with a large pinch (or two) of sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper, and then with ¼ cup of flour
  6. Bring the heat to medium-high and cook half of the lamb in the bacon fat for ~ 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned
  7. Add the lamb to the plate with the bacon and brown the second batch, also transferring it to the plate
  8. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for one minute
  9. Add the lamb and cooked bacon pieces back to the pot.
  10. Also add the beef stock, wine, tomatoes (including the juice), thyme, rosemary, a strong pinch of sea salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  11. Bring to a boil, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pot
  12. Simmer for ~ 5 minutes, cover and put the pot in the oven for 30 minutes
  13. Add the carrots, potatoes, onions, and turnips, cover and return the pot to the oven for an hour, or until all of the veggies are tender
  14. In a small bowl, add the butter and 2 Tbsp flour and combine
  15. Stir the mix into the stew and simmer on the stove-top for ~ 3-5 minutes.
  16. Off the heat, stir in the peas and parsley
  17. Season to taste and serve
Notes
Nutritional Data by %
% Protein: 29
% Carbs: 19
% Fat: 4
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/12 Total Recipe Calories: 368 Fat: 18.98 Carbohydrates: 17.59 Sugar: 4.81 Protein: 26.42

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1 Comment

  • Reply Ana De- Jesus May 2, 2017 at 1:29 pm

    Your right, there is no harm in spontaneity and like you said sometimes it is the dishes without a recipe that turns out the best. How wonderful that your hubby can cook and this stew looks wonderful x

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