Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hearty Lentil Lamb Stew

Printable Recipe

Prep time: 1 hour to soak lentils, saute lamb & veg
Final Cooking time: 30 minutes - 1 hour
Serves 8

2 lamb sausages, casings removed
1 tsp olive oil
8-10 cups Lamb broth (see below for home made), chicken (I just allow the soup to simmer longer to intensify the flavor) or vegetable broth
1 lb/ 450 g  Puy lentils (rinsed, and soaked in water for 1 hour and rinsed again)
2 leeks, rinsed well and finely chopped
1 cup parsnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 can (14oz/400ml) can fire roasted diced tomates and their juice
1 tbsp Vegetable Spice Blend from Epices de Cru
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
1-2 tbsp curry powder (optional) this time I use Trinidad curry blend from Epices de Cru

1. In a large Dutch oven, saute small chunks of lamb sausage, browning well.  Remove from pot and set aside.

2. In the same pot, saute the leeks, carrots and parsnip over medium heat until the vegetables soften.  Return lamb chunks and juices to the pot.  Add the broth, tomatoes, lentils, fresh parsley and spices.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook over low heat for 30 minutes - 1 hour.  You want the lentils tender.

Taste for seasoning.

Lamb broth:  total time 3 hours
2 leeks,  rinsed well and finely chopped
1 cup carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2lb/450g-1kg) lamb bones
5 whole peppercorns
1 large clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1 tbsp Vegetable Spice Blend from Epices de Cru
1 small bunch parsley
Water enough to fill to 1" below top of a large Dutch oven

1 a) If you have time, roast bones, leeks, carrots and garlic in 450F/220C oven on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet sprinkled with 1 cup water until vegetables are fork tender (20 minutes or so, depending on how small you cut the carrots).

No time.. no worry...
1 b) Over medium high heat in a large Dutch oven, heat 1-2 tbsp olive oil.  Add the leeks, carrots, thyme, bay leaves and bones.  Stir occasionally until vegetables start to golden (5-7 minutes).

2.At this point to either of the above, add the peppercorns, garlic and parsley and fill with cold water to 1" below top of pot.

3. Bring to a boil over medium high heat.  Remove scum and reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for at least 2 hours.  Remove scum as needed.  Season for flavor.

4. Pour the soup through a fine strainer or sieve, saving the broth and discarding the bones and vegetables.

Freezing broth in 2 cup portions:
Once the broth is cool, I separate and bag the broth in two cup portions in freezer proof zip lock bags.  After removing as much air as possible before sealing, I lay them flat on large rimmed cookie sheets (6 bags to a sheet) and flash freeze them (or as close to flash as a home freezer can get) and then store them like you would files in a filing cabinet.  Better than bouillon cubes or store bought broth and right at your fingertips.  

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