What? Lamb... again?! Be warned - this might go on for a few weeks! Now that we have 80 lbs of lamb in our freezer... well probably closer to 75 lbs now... (see Fill the Deep Freeze! if you don't know about that yet) I find myself looking for and trying out new recipes much more than usual. I'm a beef girl. Lamb is all new to me and I simply don't have the confidence yet to put it together without instructions. I have to admit that I'm really liking my "lamb" experience so far (and not just the fact that it's helping me with content for this series - though that is certainly a bonus). Last week we enjoyed delicious rosemary leg of lamb and the lamb and beer stew you're about to read about...
Everyone is good at something. We all have gifts and talents in different areas - it's what makes us unique and what helps us find our place in this world. Although I sometimes struggle with where exactly that "place" is for me, I do know that there are things that I'm good at. I have qualities that stand out. One thing that I've often been commended and/or praised for is my efficiency. I have knack for being able to get a lot done, in a short amount of time... and usually it's done well. Usually.
Sometimes I'm so efficient - it's to a fault (and I can't help but note here that it's interesting how my A.O.K "trial" Gourmet series is teaching me some valuable things about myself that have absolutely nothing to do with food or recipes). I have a really bad habit of skimming everything I read. Novels - after which I'm upset because I finished my book in 2 days or less and have nothing else to read. E-mails - I've been totally busted by my friends for this one. Instructions - what? I can figure it out... Recipes - ahem... my case in point! More than once I have missed out on something simply because I didn't take my time to read everything a little more carefully.
I've made little mistakes with recipes because of this problem. I thought I'd learned my lesson. When I decided to make the lamb and beer stew I read the recipe card, I made myself a list of the things I needed to pick up at the grocery store and I headed out... and this time...I picked up the wrong case of beer. I was eyeing a mixed case that included both red and blond beers. I picked up a case of blond. You can't make lamb and RED beer stew with blond beer but by the time I realized my mistake, it was time to put the beer into the stew! So lamb and BLOND beer stew it was.
The result? We don't actually eat much stew in our home to begin with so this wasn't a favorite with the family. Take this initial comment with a grain of salt because my family consists of Brandon - my picky eater of a husband, Layla - my picky toddler and Meaghan - who is too little and hasn't had enough food yet to decide if she's picky or not! Although it wasn't a "hit", Brandon said it was fine and that he would eat it again and Layla ate every piece of meat on her plate and was convinced to eat her vegetables with promises for more meat. My little carnivore. Personally I enjoyed my blond beer stew but would really like to know what difference the red beer and a little mint (which I forgot to add) would have made. I also found the stewed lamb brought out the flavour of the lamb instead of masking it. And I have one more "review" since I actually made a double-batch of this stew to bring some over to a friend for her and her family to share. Her response was "yummy" so let's go with that :-)
So what's next... lamburgers?!?!
Maybe a break from all the lamb... something sweet... and chocolaty...
Recipe for Lamb and
Red Blond Beer Stew
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 bottle red beer (or blond... though I have a feeling red is better)
- 1 ½ cups chicken stock
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 2 cups leeks cut into rings
- 2 cups miniature carrots
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups cut green beans
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- In a large saucepan, heat oil over med-high heat; add garlic and cook for about 3 minutes or until golden. Add lam cubes to pan and brown on all sides. Add beer, chicken stock and tomato paste; scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add leek rings, carrots and the bay leaf, and bring to boil. Cover and lower heat to medium-low. Cook for 45 minutes (or until meat is tender). Add green beans and continue cooking for 15 minutes (or until vegetables are tender-crisp). Season with salt and pepper. Stir in oregano and mint.