It’s weird how once it got a little cold, I couldn’t stop thinking about lamb stew and how wonderful it would be to use the Dutch oven(and the oven) again. I was sort of dreaming about making a lamb and some sort of squash stew with a sprinkle of curry powder. I still had $26 to use on my The Meat Hook gift card I got for my birthday so I decided to get some lamb at The Meat Hook.
So I’m still tweaking the recipe and actually there wasn’t a recipe. I sort of just threw stuff into the Dutch oven and hoped that it would come out okay.
So here goes…..
First I fried up some sliced onions in the Dutch oven with a little bit of candied bacon fat (I had made candied bacon the day before), over medium high heat. When they almost turned translucent, I threw in a whole butternut squash (chopped into 1 inch pieces). Cook the veggies for few minutes before dumping in the lamb. The butcher gave me lamb stew meat so it was already cut into pieces. Then I seasoned it and gave the mixture a good mix. I poured a pint of Founders porter that I got from Eastern District into the mixture and added enough water to barely cover the meat and veggie. I let the liquid came to a boil before popping the whole thing (with the lid on) into the pre-heated (350degrees) oven.
About 40mins later I gave the stew a good stir. I put the lid back on and I left it in the oven for another 20mins. After that, I took it out of the oven and finished it off with 2 spoons full of mascarpone cheese. I gave it a taste and thought it needed a little bit more salt. I also threw in some leftover greens from a hot pot dinner I had few nights before. I ate the stew with pasta and couple pieces of bread.
There were few things I thought I needed to change. First, cooking the stew for just 1hr was not enough. The pieces of meat wasn’t tender enough. I may cook it in the oven, next time, for maybe 1.5hrs? But if I do that the pieces of squash will too soft. Maybe instead of adding all the squash, I’ll reserve some and they will go into the pot half way through cooking..hm.
Maybe best to cook this the day before so that I can chill it and scoop out all the fat. There was a nice layer of oily fat that I didn’t really want to “drink.”
Other then these couple things, the stew came out pretty good. Had really good deep flavors from the lamb, beer and candied bacon fat.