Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lamb Stew

So it's St. Patrick's Day and most of you are probably planning to whip up some corned beef and cabbage with a side of potatoes, or something else traditionally consumed on this day. Green beer, perhaps. Or a Shamrock shake. Personally, I'm in the mood for some stew.

"Irish" stew typically contains lamb or mutton, onions, carrots, and of course, potatoes. While it's very tasty, I'm feeling a little more exotic this week. My stew still contains lamb, onion, and carrots, but the overall flavor profile leans more toward the Chinese, with the potatoes replaced by steamed rice.

Pretty, no? Tasty, yes!

Lamb Stew a la Chinoise

1 tablespoon canola oil
3 lbs cubed lamb
1 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
6 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon crushed Sichuan peppercorns
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons black bean and garlic sauce
2 tablespoons soy
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1 star anise, broken
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup mixed vegetables (I used frozen peas and edamame)

In a dutch oven, heat the oil and brown the lamb in batches. When uniformly brown on all sides, remove lamb to a bowl and set aside. Into the hot fat left in the pan, add the peppercorns and toast for about a minute, then add the onions, celery, carrot, and ginger and saute until vegetables soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute or two. Add the meat back to the pot along with the remaining ingredients and bring mixture to a boil. After reaching a boil, turn the heat down to low and allow the stew to simmer for 3 hours, or until meat is very tender.

Place cornstarch in a small bowl and whisk in enough of the stew liquid to make a thin paste (about half a cup). Whisk cornstarch slurry into stew, and stir until thickened.

Stir in additional and cook until tender, about 10 minutes more.

Serve with sauteed cabbage.

Sautéed Cabbage

1/2 cabbage cut into shreds as for coleslaw
1 teaspoon veg oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Heat vegetable oil in a sauté pan. Add cabbage and toss to coat with oil. Stir fry for about 3 minutes, until cabbage begins to soften. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Cook until warmed through, an additional 2 minutes. Serve atop lamb stew, or as a side dish to something else.