Despite Malcolm Gladwell’s article in The New Yorker about the damage football does to its players’ brains, I can’t quite pull myself away from turning on a game of college football on Saturdays in the fall. Especially a beautiful one like today, after picking up my stash of produce from the Holland Farmers’ Market.
While Bill roots for Michigan State and I keep my eye on Penn State (and sometimes Purdue), I cook up a batch of lamb stew for tonight’s dinner. The smell of stew and the sounds of college football just seem to go hand-in-hand. Do I wish I were at the game? Maybe on a sunny fall day like today, but really, I’d rather be cooking and keeping up with it via TV.
So which stew to make? Since I still have grassfed lamb stew meat in the freezer, it seems like the perfect choice. I use a recipe from Cooks.com for a starting point but improvise it (see below).
The stew will simmer about an hour and a half, then I’ll let it set while I sit back and watch Joe Paterno and his Nittany Lions. By dinnertime, all those flavors will be nicely melded together for a delicious one-bowl meal. Touchdown.
Lamb Stew (improvised from Cooks.com)
1 lb. boneless lamb, cut into 1″ cubes
Brown rice flour for dredging
Olive oil for browing meat
Water or lamb stock*
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 bay leaf
6 small red-skinned potatoes (unpeeled), diced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium parsnips, sliced
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1/2 c. dry white wine
1/4 (16 oz.) pkg. petite frozen peas
2 tbsp. snipped flat leaf parsley
Lightly flour 1″ cubes of stew meat. In a Dutch oven or heavy large saucepan, brown the meat well in a small amount of oil. Add enough water or stock to just cover the meat. Deglaze pan. Add garlic, onion, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer about 1 hour. Add wine and bring back to a boil. Add the carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and celery, and cook for 20 more minutes. Add peas and parsley and cook for 5 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: You may need to add additional water during the cooking period. Also, if the stew doesn’t look thick enough at the end, you can thicken it by adding 2 tablespoons flour to 1/2 cup cool water and stirring it into the hot stew.
*Not everyone has lamb stock on hand. I only did because I boiled the leg bone after we cleaned off the meat from last month’s Leg of Lamb on the Grill.