Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Dark Days Challenge Week 3 Lamb Stew

Lamb is one of those meats that have to cooked correctly to be fully enjoyed. It took me a few tries to get it right. Marinating and the crock pot are the two best ways to prepare lamb.  Lamb meatballs, leg of lamb marinated in red wine, and lamb stew in a crock pot are my favorite ways to prepare this tasty meat.  Whenever this chilly weather rolls around I can't help but to take out the crock pot to make delicious, easy, and time saving meals.

Lamb Stew

1 lb of lamb stew meat or lamb shanks (Chestnut Farms Hardwick, MA)
1 large onion chopped (from our garden)
3 carrots chopped (from our garden)
2 ribs of celery chopped (not local, but organic)
4-6 cups of chicken broth (homemade)
Rosemary, salt, pepper -to taste
olive oil

Saute onions, celery, and carrots till tender in a pan with oil olive. Transfer to a crock pot. In the same pan, saute up the lamb meat till browned on all sides. Transfer to crock pot. Add in the stock and spices to the crock pot and turn on low for at least 8 hours. Serve with warm bread and some good homebrew (espresso chocolate stout made by Chris with local malt from Hadley, MA).

Italian Bread

3 cups of water
1 1/2 tbsp of yeast
6 cups of bread flour (organic from Westport, NY)
1 1/2 tbsp of salt

Add the ingredients into a mixer with a dough hook, in the order of ingredients. (Never add salt directly on the yeast or it will fight). The dough should be tacky, but not sticky. Let it rise for about 2 hrs. This recipe will make about 4 pounds of dough so use as much as you want to make rolls, baguette, loaf, etc. Whatever dough you don't use, you can place into the fridge in a plastic container with a lid for up to a week. Once you shape the dough let it rise for about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 and slide bread onto a hot pizza stone or let it rise on a metal pan w/parchment paper. Bake for about 20 minutes depending on the size of the bread.

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