Whenever I venture into preparing lamb it’s usually done with some apprehension, with the intention of making a treat for my Armenian hubby and with the hope that the kids and I will like it too. Sometimes I am pleasantly surprised by how wonderful lamb dishes can really be, and other times I’m content with just a taste or two, while the kids refuse to eat it.
In my experience, those who aren’t raised eating lamb can have some difficulty finding enjoyment in the distinct flavor of the meat. It’s certainly not the same as beef or chicken or pork. While I wouldn’t describe it as gamey, it tends to have a flavor note that’s different than popular American meats.
And yet, the incredible flavor of this stew took me by surprise! At the end of the cook time I took a taste to test for salt and couldn’t help tasting it again, and again. Then I ladled some into a bowl and called Chloe into the kitchen. Without telling her what was in the stew (oh the trust of a child) she took one bite, and then another. “Mom, this is SO good! Can I have a bigger bowl?” B devoured the stew as well, telling me that I’m getting pretty good at preparing his beloved lamb :-)
This recipe is perfect for using your favorite Dutch oven. I really believe that a high quality Dutch oven does make a difference in how recipes cook, so do invest in one if you haven’t already. I certainly wouldn’t attempt a stew like this in any old pot!
BTW if you’re feeling like more lamb recipes here are my other favorites:
3 bacon strips, diced
3 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
¼ cup coconut flour
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 large parsnips, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 teaspoons coconut palm sugar
1 cup white wine or white grape juice
6 cups chicken broth
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch slices
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In the bottom of a Dutch oven cook the bacon over high heat until evenly brown. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the lamb chunks with the coconut flour, black pepper and sea salt. Toss to coat. Shake off any excess flour.
Brown the lamb in the Dutch oven in the bacon fat. Set the meat aside.
Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, parsnips, celery and coconut palm sugar to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with the wine, cooking until nearly evaporated.
Add the broth, lamb and bacon to the pot and top with the sweet potato. The potatoes need not be fully submerged. Season with salt and pepper and top with the thyme sprig. Cover the pot and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 90 minutes, until the lamb is tender. Skim the fat from the top of the pot. Serve hot. Enjoy!