Monday, December 30, 2013

Lamb Stew

This is the best lamb stew recipe I have ever made. It has such flavor. And easy to make. Just a bit of braising, chopping and the stew cooks itself on a low heat for a few hours. So tasty and warming in this cold weather.

The cooking is all done in the oven. Two hours later, you’ll find meat that is tender and falling off the bone. It’s incredibly flavourful and perfect with a light couscous mixed with raisins and almond flakes.

Lamb Stew adapted from The Story of Bing

Serves 6.


1 kg lamb leg cut into portions (I used ready cut lamb knuckles)
3 to 4 large carrots
3 large onions
2 cups of mushrooms cut into chunks
1 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
2 cups red wine
2 to 3 cups water
1 to 2 mutton or chicken stock cubes
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 stick of cinnamon
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon basalmic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 sprig of rosemary
2 bay leaves
pinch of black pepper


Preheat an oven to 150°C.

Lightly peel 3 to 4 large carrots and cut into large chunks.

Peel and cut 3 large onions into large chunks.

Wash 1 kg of lamb leg pieces. I used lamb knuckles as they came all cut in small pieces.

Add 1/2 cup of plain flour to the lamb and mix evenly until all lamb pieces are well coated with flour and look very dry.

Here’s what the lamb should look like after mixing with the flour.

Heat a deep Dutch oven or oven proof pot. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the pot.

Brown the meat in 2 to 3 batches. About 2 minutes each side. Do not add all the meat at once. If the pot is overcrowded, the meat won’t brown.

Set aside the browned meat and repeat with batch two and three (if necessary).

In the same pot, add the carrots and onions. Stir fry for a few minutes till onions begin to get slight toasted.

Add 1 teaspoon of minced ginger.

Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic.

Stir fry for a minute and then add the lamb back to the pot. Juices and all.

Add 2 glasses of red wine. Using a spatula, scrap the sides of the pot to release the meat that’s stuck to it.

Add 2 to 3 cups of water. Ensure that all ingredients in the pot are just nicely submerged in the liquids.

Add the mutton/chicken stock cubes. Add one first and the other one when we taste. Every brand of stock cubes is different and it’s always easier to go with a lighter hand in the beginning. I used mutton stock here and like to crumble the stock cubes into the liquids instead of throwing the entire piece in.

Add 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.

Add 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.

Add 1 stick of cinnamon stick.

Add 1 tablespoon of oyster sauce.

Add 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce.

Add 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar.

Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Add a couple of sprigs of rosemary.

Add a couple of bay leaves.

Mix everything together and bring the stew to a soft rolling boil. Place the lid on the pot and place the pot in a 150°C oven for 1.5 hours.

Remove the pot from the oven and give the stew a good stir.

Add the mushrooms. Stir well to combine.

Place the lid back on and return the pot to the oven for another 1/2 hour.

After that 1/2 hour, remove the lid and let the stew simmer uncovered for another 15mins.

The lamb should be very tender by now. Strain the lamb, carrots and onions into a serving dish.

This is the time to taste the sauce. If it’s too salty, add some balsamic vinegar and sugar to balance it. If it’s too flat, crumble 1/2 or 1 more stock cube into the sauce. If you prefer a darker sauce, add more dark soy sauce.

Season the sauce with black pepper.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of flour a little at a time.

Whisk well to combine. This will thicken the sauce. Add just enough flour to obtain a silky creamy sauce.Don’t sweat the lumps. I get those all the time. We’ll be draining the sauce in the next step.

Strain the sauce into the dish of meat.

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