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Easter Lamb Stew

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Lamb is synonymous with Easter, and it’s one of my favorite cuts of meat to prepare this time of year. While lamb is available all year long from Australian and New Zealand, local lamb will start to appear in spring (with its height end of spring throughout summer) and into fall. Texas is actually one of the primary lamb-producing regions in North America.

There are so many ways to cook lamb, but I love to brown the meat to seal in the juices and stew it to achieve a rich, tender result. If you’re off-put by the flavor, this recipe will undo all of your worries. The addition of red wine, tomato paste, and fresh seasonings alleviate the gaminess that many people associate with lamb. This combination imparts a robust taste with a slowly-simmered texture that melts in your mouth.

Pair this delightful stew with red wine, such as Cotes du Rhone, and serve it with a fresh salad. Be sure to include pieces of crusty bread for mopping up all that delicious sauce (check the “Chef Hack” note for details). Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Easter Lamb Stew

All It Takes

2 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra if needed
3 lbs. lamb stew meat, cut into 1 ½-inch pieces and trimmed of excess fat
½ cup dry red wine
4 cups beef stock
3 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 fresh parsley sprigs
2 bay leaves
½ tsp. fresh thyme, removed from the stem
1 lb. pearl onions
3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly diced
1 medium white turnip, peeled and roughly diced
½ lb. small red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (substitute sweet potatoes for Paleo version)

Let’s Get Cooking

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the lamb. If need be, do this in small batches so as to not crowd the pot. Continue until all the lamb has been browned, adding more oil if needed. Once browned, set aside.
  2. Add the red wine, deglazing the bottom and sides of the pot. Add the stock, tomato paste, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, and browned lamb. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350° F. After the lamb has cooked for 45 minutes, add the onions, carrots, turnip, and potatoes. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for 45-60 minutes, until the lamb is fork tender.
  4. Remove the parsley sprigs and bay leaves, if desired. Let cool & serve.

Chef Hack: Once the lamb is done cooking, strain out the cooking liquid. Place the liquid back on the stovetop and bring to a boil. Reduce by half and pour over the lamb and veggies just before serving. This reduction will intensify the flavor of the dish, creating a gravy-like sauce!

Blog reference: Eat the Seasons