Monday, October 13, 2014

Lamb Stew with Winter Squash, Ginger, and Spinach

Wow!  It's been a while since I posted.  After moving back to the States from Saba, I got so caught up on just being able to DRIVE places and see family that I completely forgot about doing any blogging.  Now we're moving around while Rob does his clinical rotations and I am spending a lot of time by myself again.

This recipe is for a lamb stew that uses boneless leg of lamb.  Leg of lamb is fairly expensive, but I add a lot of vegetables, which both ups the healthiness and stretches it a lot farther.  I cut the leg of lamb in half, trim the fat from both pieces, and plop one of them in the freezer for next time.   Just the half leg is enough for about 6 hearty servings.

This is a very easy method and can be used to inspire lots of variations.  I vary the vegetables pretty much every time I make it, but this version is what I made last.

I was going away for a few days and leaving Rob home all alone, so I made a pot of this to last him for a few dinners (and a perfect post driving all day meal for me when I got back home).

Not the most appealing looking, but I promise it's super tasty!

What you need:

Half of a boneless leg of lamb (~ 2-2.5 pounds)
1-2 teaspoons coconut oil or oil olive
1 two inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped (I prefer roughly for this recipe)
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 celery stalks, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped roughly
1-2 jalapenos, sliced
1 medium kabocha squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1/2 cup red wine or beef broth
5 ounces spinach (fresh or frozen)
Cardamon, salt, and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over high heat.  Sear the lamb on all sides, about 4-5 minutes per side. It should develop a nice brown color, almost to the point of looking black in spots.  Then add in the ginger, onion, celery, red bell pepper, and jalapenos.  Stir and saute this for a few minutes, allowing the vegetables to get a little color on them.  Then add in the wine or broth, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot.  Turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for about 3 hours.  The lamb should become very tender and fall apart.

While the lamb cooks, roast the squash:  Place cut side down on a baking sheet and roast in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until tender, about 30-45 minutes.  Once cooled, remove the skin.

Add the roasted squash and the spinach to the pot about 20 minutes before lamb is cooked to completion.  Add in cardamon, salt, and pepper to taste.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Serve garnished with Greek yogurt and siracha if desired.  This stuff gets better after it sits for a day, so feel free to make it a day ahead if you have those kind of planning skills!

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