This is a hearty dish and hits the spot now that it’s getting a bit cooler outside. Simmering makes this lamb fork tender. Serve with orzo or rice spiced with saffron, chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil. I opted to use orzo as the texture of this pasta is quite smooth. Try refrigerating overnight as this will help develop the flavors. Our choice of wine for this meal was a South African favorite of ours, Pinotage from Neil Ellis winery. After a visit to their winery, we soon realized why its among the most respected in Cape names.
2 boneless lamb shoulders (about 2 kg total)
1/2 cup (125ml) flour
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/4 cup (50 ml) olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 strips of lemon rind (4″/10 cm each)
1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
1 cup (250ml) dry white wine
1 can 19 oz (540ml) chopped tomatoes (including juice)
3 sprigs of fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon rind
Trim off excess fat from lamb; cut into 2 ince (5 cm) cubes. Combine flour, salt and pepper; dredge lamb in mixture.
In an oven proof Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons (25 ml) of the oil over medium high heat; brown lamb in batches, adding oil as needed. Remove meat from pan and set aside. Reduce heat to medium low and add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil to pan; cook onions, carrots and celery for 10 minutes stirring often. Add garlic and lemon rind. Add stock, wine, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaves, salt and pepper; bring to boil, stirring to scrape up brown bits from pan.
Gremolata: Combine garlic, parsley and lemon rind, sprinkle over stew. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
The Culinary Chase’s note: Next time, I would recommend making a cartouche to make sure the heat and moisture stays in. I didn’t bother cooking the gremolata. I just added it to the hot pot and the flavors melted into the stew. Quite delicious!