After spending five wonderful days away with family, it was time to come home.
One frustrating thing about coming home from vacation, though, is an empty fridge.
Since an empty fridge makes the whole house feel empty, I decided it was the perfect time to pull out the lovely lamb I had purchased a month ago and make lamb stew.
Nothing says “Welcome home!” like a warm stew.
Well, that and two adorable, loving cats:
Brodie and Baby Girl were so excited to see us that they forgot to act standoffish.
So while Dave worked on building a roaring fire in the fireplace, I set to work on my stew.
Welcome Home Lamb Stew
*1 lb. lamb stew meat, cut into bite-size chunks
*1 medium onion
*4 carrots, peeled
*2 large cloves garlic, minced
*5 T olive oil
*1/2 cup flour
*Salt and Pepper
*2/3-1 cup red wine (I used Port)
*4 cups chicken broth
*1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
*28 oz. crushed tomatoes
*1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (if using fresh, use 1 teaspoon)
*1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (if using fresh, use 1 teaspoon)
*1/2 cup frozen peas
In a nonreactive bowl, pour 1/3-1/2 cup Port wine. (Since I wanted my stew to be super-delicious, I used Six Grapes.)
Add the lamb and allow to marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes.
You could also marinate the meat overnight if’n ya wanted ta.
While the meat marinates, peel the carrots and slice thick.
I prefer to cut my carrots at an angle because I feel they taste better this way as opposed to slicing them into “coins.”
Egh! Carrot coins!
(We all have our quirks.)
Next, chop the onion and mince the garlic.
Set cut veggies aside.
Now it is time to dredge the lamb!
In a bowl, add 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper and mix together.
Remove lamb from marinade (SAVE THIS!!) and shake dry. Add to flour.
Toss meat in flour until all sides are well coated with flour.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a dutch oven or large stockpot over medium-high heat.
Shake excess flour from lamb and place carefully in hot oil.
Brown lamb on one side for 2-3 minutes or until golden.
LEAVE THE LAMB ALONE WHILE IT IS BROWNING!
(Ok, I’m done yelling.)
(Sorry. It’s just that I care so much about the integrity of your stew meat.)
Flip the meat and brown on other side.
Remove meat from pan and set on a plate. Cover meat with foil to keep it warm.
Add 2 more tablespoons of oil.
Carefully add the carrots and onion to the oil, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the brown bits left from the meat.
After the carrots and onions have cooked for about 5 minutes, add the garlic.
It is important to add the garlic later or it will burn, causing your stew to be not-so-delish.
Cook all veggies together for 2 more minutes and add to meat. Cover again with foil.
Now it is time to deglaze!
Pour the marinade into the pot and scrape the bottom again.
Add chicken broth, Worcestershire, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 teaspoon pepper…..
…tomatoes and herbs to the pot and reduce over medium-high heat, uncovered, for 7 minutes.
Add meat, veggies and any juices left on the plate into the gravy.
Add 1/2 cup more Port and stir.
Simmer over low heat, covered, for 45 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Stir in peas before serving.
(Unless you hate peas.)
(Personally, I don’t like potatoes in my stew.)
(So I didn’t add potatoes.)
The perfect welcome home.