4 hour lamb stew
This recipe idea came from a Jamie Oliver book, but as always, I can never find it when I want, so this is my recollection of the recipe.
It is a really simple dish to prepare, just throw everything, plus a bottle of white wine, into the biggest casserole pot you have and leave it to cook for 4 hours. You do need a big pot though!
If you enjoy your food spicy, try Lamb tangia, it's very similar to this recipe and I think it's even nicer.
- 1 leg of lamb - does not need to be massive, with the potatoes and vegetables, this recipe goes a long, long way.
- Olive oil for frying
- 6 rashers of home smoked bacon, chunky streaky bacon or a small packet of lardons
- 4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and crushed
- 3 onions, peeled and cut into 4
- 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut in half, lengthwise
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut in half, lenghtwise
- 3 celery stick, cut into thick 'moons'
- A few handfuls of fresh herbs, whatever you have available; parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bottle of dry white wine
- Above bottle, re-filled with water - use your judgement, depending upon the size of the joint. Sometimes half a bottle of water is enough.
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 160° C (325° F - gas 3 - Moderately slow/Warm)
- If you are using a glass casserole dish, do the frying in a separate pan, otherwise..
- Add a few splashes of olive oil to a huge ovenproof pot or deep Roasting dish and brown the lamb all over
- Remove the lamb for the next stage
- Fry the onions, garlic and bacon and celery for 4 minutes
- Add a splash of white wine and deglaze the pan
- Add your lamb back (or move everything to your casserole dish)
- Add the remaining wine and an equal amount of water and all of the remaining ingredients
- Cover, with tin-foil if you are using a roasting tray
- Roast for 4 to 5 hours - I find 4 hours sufficient although we don't use a particularly large cut of meat
- Season the gravy to taste with salt and black pepper
Serve hot with crusty bread to soak up the delicious gravy
Use any vegetables you have knocking around at the time, just cut them (equally) on the large size, bearing in mind the time that it's cooking for. We have lots of winter squashes at the moment so I think I may use half a small butternut squash instead of the parsnips - not my favourite vegetables!
Ensure that you use a dry white wine. I have made this with a medium/sweet wine and it was a little too sweet for my taste.