Snow Day Stew with Lamb and Lentils

We have no kitchen counters. In fact, our refrigerator, and cabinets are in the middle of the room – so we don’t even have any floor. And it’s a big ol’ snowy mess going on outside. However, we do have some nice local lamb stew meat, some lentils and some homemade bacon. (I’ve been told that everything is better with bacon.) Looks like it’s time to make some one pot, one cutting board stew. Yeah, that’ll work.

Lamb & Lentil Stew
lambstew1.jpg

1/2 lb bacon, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1lb lamb chunks
4 – 5c beef broth
3c red wine
4 garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
4 small potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
couple-few carrots, sliced into rounds
2 T flour
1 T Spike
salt & pepper to taste
2c lentils, cooked

chives & sour cream (optional)

In a large soup pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until almost cooked through. Reserve 2 T of bacon fat and set aside. Throw onions into the bacon and cook until tender. Add in lamb and brown outsides. Deglaze pan with a bit of the beef broth. Add in the rest of the beef broth and 2c of the wine. Bring to a boil. Add in garlic and reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or so. Add in the potatoes, cover and simmer until they’re tender. Add in carrots. (You can also add them in last if you like crunchy carrots in your stew.) In another pan, heat bacon fat until bubbling and add in flour. Brown over medium- high heat and add in wine. Stir until pasty. Stir into stew. Add in lentils and spices. Remove from heat. Garnish with the rest of the wine, chives and sour cream.

Enjoy!

lambstew2.jpg

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6 thoughts on “Snow Day Stew with Lamb and Lentils

  1. Hi! I found your blog a couple of days ago while wasting time at work (don’t remember where I linked from) and bookmarked it for the snickerdoodle recipe.

    But THIS looks fabulous. I’m going to try it tomorrow but with some venison stew meat I have thawed.

    I know it will make it a totally different recipe, but I think it may still be quite delicious.

    But, what is “Spike” and where do I find it? Does Penzey’s have it?

    (Asking a little sheepishly because I think I’m a pretty good/experienced cook, but I’ve never heard of this one.)

    Thanks!

  2. Lydia – Thank you so much. My own boy looked at that picture and said, “You shoot soup in the exactly the same way every time now, don’t you?” Oh well, soup is soup. It pretty much just sits there!

    notfainthearted – Spike. I have no idea how we started using the stuff – so when you asked the question I looked it up; http://www.modernfearn.com/. It’s basically just a spice mixture with garlic and veggie flavors. It seems that it’s made by some kooky nutrition guru. Who knew. Anyway, if it exists in your neck of the woods you can find it in your local grocery store in the spice aisle with things like Accent and Old Bay seasonings.

    (And I think venison will be great!)

  3. found the Spike at Cub, just where you said it would be. Just have never seen it before!

    You were right, it turned out GREAT with the venison. DS1 had seconds and DS2 waited to go sliding so he could eat.

    I have a feeling it will be in the regular rotation for a while.

    If I didn’t need a nap just now, I’d try the snickerdoodles today 😉

    cheers,
    NFH

  4. Not a bad idea for a recipe, but I can’t find when the lentils are supposed to come… Besides they should cook with the stew, not be added pre-cooked, in my opinion.

    This type of recipe also works very well with celery , tomatoes and mushrooms. I would replace Spike with some fresh thyme and coriander seeds too.

    Good food’s good!

  5. notfainthearted – excellent! I’m so glad to hear it.

    Antoine – Thanks, I think.

    I chose not to cook the lentils in the stew so that they wouldn’t pick up the broth flavor and would just taste like lentils. I chose to cook the potatoes in the stew so that they would pick up the broth flavor. It was a matter of creating contrasts in the stew. It’s the same reason I didn’t really cook the carrots.

    I added in spike to round out the flavors, not to add extra flavor. Replacing it with thyme and coriander would not have worked for what I was doing. But, stew is stew. You can do almost anything and have it turn out.

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