Springtime is beginning to take over the farmer’s markets. There has been an abundance of tender baby vegetables from radishes in an assortment of Easter egg colors, all the way to baby carrots and adorable turnips showing up on a weekly basis. Yes, I said adorable turnips. It is time to get in the kitchen and make lamb stew. This recipe is a wonderful collection of what it is in season right now, from the vegetables to tender spring lamb.
Normally when I make lamb stew it tends to be on the heartier side to your rib’s side. I usually make it with a heavy beer and stock base, and let the meat simmer for hours as stew meat tends to be tough. After talking to my butcher, he persuaded me to try some gorgeous pieces of lamb stew meat which still had the bones in the cuts. He thought it would make an amazing stew, as the meaty bones would add more flavor and depth to the base of the recipe. He was right!
I decided to make this lamb stew recipe on the lighter side and used red wine in my recipe instead of a heavy dark beer. After lightly dredging the meat in flour and browning, I let the meat along with the aromatics braise in the oven. I didn’t add any vegetables until the last 45 minutes of cooking. I wanted to be able to taste the vegetables, and I wanted them to hold up during cooking instead of falling apart. Don’t worry there is still plenty of rich gravy to dip biscuits in, it is just a bit lighter in texture.
Let me start by saying, I am a firm believer that one should use the wine they drink, along with cooking. Nothing ruins a lovely piece of meat more than a below average bottle of wine to marinade with, and then you open a quality one to serve alongside your meal. The wine that I paired with (and used in cooking) this lamb stew recipe was the Claret from the Diamond Collection from the Francis Ford Coppola Winery. The Claret is the perfect companion to serve with lamb, and it worked well when using in the recipe. It is a Bordeaux style wine, that is rich in flavor with hints of plum jam (plums go so well with lamb) and a bit of spice. We couldn’t come to a mutual agreement if it were cardamon or fennel that we tasted, but there is some warmth in the nose of this wine. Being big fans of a Bordeaux style wine, I have to say this bottle wowed us every time. Smooth on the palate with a lasting impression. Soft, but vibrant. A favorite at Chez Us.
The Claret has a unique appearance from the slick and sexy bottle to the gold netting over it. You definitely want to open it properly so you can display the netting during serving. It is rather elegant.
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2 lbs lamb stew meat – with bones
1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1 tablespoon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon controne pepper or black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
5 cups chicken or beef stock – have used both
1 cup Francis Ford Coppola Diamond Collection Black Label Claret
10 baby turnips
10 baby carrots
1 lb. fingerlings
2 small yellow onions, cut quarters
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
a handful of parsley, finely minced
Thirty minutes before cooking, take the lamb out and let rest on the counter
Preheat oven to 325.
In a shallow bowl combine 1/2 cup of the flour, salt, and controne pepper. Stir to mix.
Place a dutch oven on the stove, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and warm over medium heat.
Toss the lamb in the flour mixture.
Add to the hot olive oil, and brown on all sides.
Sprinkle the thyme over the lamb and stir.
Pour the stock and the wine over the lamb, stir again.
Cover the dutch oven and place into the oven for 2 hours. After 1 hour, I stir the lamb mixture, then cover and let braise another hour.
After 2 hours, remove the dutch oven from the oven, and stir in the garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed.
Add the turnips, carrots, fingerlings, and onions. Stir.
Return to the oven uncovered and cook for 30 minutes.
Cover with the lid and cook for another 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven.
Ladle about a cup of the broth into a small bowl.
Place the 1 tablespoon of flour into a small saucepan over low heat on the stove.
Using a whisk, gently whisk in the cup of broth to form a thick sauce. This will take about 2 – 3 minutes.
Place the dutch oven on a stove-top burner and stir in the thick sauce, over low heat, until slightly thickened.
Garnish with a little-chopped parsley.
disclaimer: This post is brought to you in collaboration with Francis Ford Coppola Winery, for which we are being compensated for the work done with them. All content, photos, and opinions are of our own and were not influenced by other parties. Thank you for supporting sponsors that allow us to create new and exciting content like this for Chez Us.