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Friday, November 5, 2010

Lamb Stew

This started out as lamb ragout.  You pronounce that like the pasta sauce - ragu.  It certainly didn't end up that way.  Why?  For one, the recipe called for shredding the lamb over polenta.  Polenta follows corn chowder as a Connie dislike.  I've gotten him to eat it once.  But, you do realize that enough bacon and cheese will disguise just about anything, don't you?  Unfortunately, there's no bacon and no cheese in this dish.  Ergo, the polenta would've stood out like a sore thumb.

We bought lamb stew meat at the farmer's market.  The recipe called for a lamb shoulder, cooked then shredded.  Hmmm, why not skip the other steps and just buy lamb stew meat?  I got the lamb browned and the veggies cooked then had to quit for the evening.  When I finally got back to the recipe, it didn't feel like there was enough liquid to cook the lamb for a couple of hours.  That's what it needed to tenderize.  So, I started adding more chicken broth, tomato paste and red wine.  And, I kept adding the same...  Another can of chicken broth, ditto of tomato paste.  And a bottle of red wine - albeit a very small bottle - about 8 oz.  Finally I realized I had some pretty incredible lamb stew on my hands - if only I'd add a potato and some more celery.  Done.

So, as a side note here, did you know that celery used to be quite the delicacy?  There's a museum on Cape Cod called the Sandwich Glass Museum.  If you're ever down that direction I can't encourage you enough to go there.  It's fascinating.  I think I've been five times and have enjoyed it tremendously each time.  So, they have these wonderful vases in the displays.  Except, they're not just your ordinary vases, they're celery vases. 

Can you imagine that?  Serving celery in it's own vase???  Someday, I'll blog about the cake my great-grandmother, Katharine, made for Christmas Eve.  Another tale of rare and expensive ingredients. 

Lamb Stew

1 lb lamb stew beef
2 T olive oil
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
4 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
1 large russet potato, coarsely chopped (I rarely peel potatoes)
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 4 oz cans tomato paste
2 c red wine
2 14 oz. cans chicken broth


Brown the lamb in the olive oil. 

Remove the lamb from the skillet and add the vegetables other than the potato and saute them for a couple of minutes. 

Add half of the tomato paste and stir well. 

Then, add half of the red wine and chicken broth.  Allow the stew to simmer uncovered for at least an hour. 

Add more tomato paste, red wine and chicken broth as needed.  Add the potato and a couple more ribs of celery and simmer for another 20 minutes.  

adapted from Food and Wine

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This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.


Monet said...

I had no idea that celery was so treasured! Those vases look beautiful though, regardless of their use. And your lamb stew looks delicious too! I'm not a big fan of polenta, so I probably would have passed on that too. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

the lamb stew looks absolutely fantastic :)
and I like idea of the celery vases :)

Drick said...

good looking stew, I mean Connie's take on the recipe - yes, I know about celery dishes, there are so many interesting dishes, silverware and serving pieces primarily made for an usual use... that would be an interesting post

The Mom Chef said...

I'm with your husband on the polenta thing (and grits). The lamb stew sounds delicious. I love lamb and I love stews, especially now that it's chilly.

I had no idea about celery. I love the vases and it makes sense. I love it.