A (Wonderful) Lamb Stew
Photo Courtesy of: RecipesHubs.com
- 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
- 2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
- 1 small lemon (preferably Meyer), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1 cup dried figs, stems trimmed, quartered lengthwise (about 4 ounces)
- 2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth
- Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)
- Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron in small bowl; let stand at least 20 minutes to infuse.
- Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, figs, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.
- Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupful’s as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)
- Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates over a healthy portion of wide cut noodles (hint: go to Whole Foods cheese kiosk and ask someone to cut you some fresh pasta to order…hmmmm; about 1/4lb per person should do it) top each serving with a dollop of minted yogurt.
Pair this dish with the Vidal-Fleury Côte Rôtie (750ml) – $54.99
This dish screams for a good Syrah-driven Rhone or a full bodied Cali Cabernet- preferably with a few years on it, such as, Neal Family Vineyards, Howell Mountain 2008.
Courtesy of: Richard and Claudia