Hard to believe today marks the official end of Summer with Autumn creeping in oh around 5:18pm EDT for us Northern Hemisphere folk. (How can they pinpoint the time with such accuracy like?) Though summer is my favorite by far (and prob the main reason I moved here) I’ve grown to really like autumn here in SoCal–not too much change really, just the way I like it! In Ireland, unless you’re having an Indian summer (September is usually the best month for sun), the weather just goes from winter to spring winter to summer winter to autumn winter to winter again, with the odd drop of rain thrown in for good measure. Makes sense why our dinners were often stews to warm ye bones.
This recipe pays homage to the poor craters who are about to pull on the long johns (those in Colorado already got snow yesterday!) and for those of us still in the heat, well this’ll be one to put in the vault for when the temperature does head south.
2 lbs organic lamb shoulder – on the bone
good sprinkle ground cumin
1/2 white onion-sliced
4 garlic cloves – crushed
2 large parsnips – peeled, 1/2″ slice
1 cup white wine
8 oz baby carrots
1 large yam or sweet potato – peeled, halved lengthwise, 1/2″ slice
1 bunch asparagus – trimmed and halved
bouquet garni – fresh oregano, thyme
1 quart (4 cups) beef broth
Preheat large saute pan on high for 1 minute. Lay the lamb on oven tray and season both sides with S&P and sprinkle with cumin. Rub into meat. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil in large skillet and sear each lamb piece for 2 minutes each side until golden.
Remove browned meat and put into large casserole dish.
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
Wipe out the pan with a paper bowl and reduce heat to medium and add another tbsp olive oil. Add onions and saute for 2 minutes, stirring. Add garlic and continue cooking for another 30 seconds. Add wine and deglaze pan by scraping all browned bits from bottom on pan. Cook for 30 seconds and add to lamb along with bouquet garni, broth and vegetables EXCEPT asparagus. (You don’t want those to turn to mush.) Cover with foil and cook for about 1 hour 45 minutes. Add in asparagus for the remaining 15 minutes, or until lamb is fork tender and all veg are cooked. The meat should be so tender it’ll just fall off the bone.
Taste and season. Discard bouquet garni before serving.
NOTE: You may be wondering why I don’t add salt while it’s cooking. When cooking a stew like this it’s always better to season at the end of the cooking time because if you add salt to the broth in the beginning, the broth will reduce during cooking and will end up being too salty once fully cooked.
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.