Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lamb Stew with Lemons and Green Olives

This flavorful lamb stew is brightened with lemon, green olives, and yogurt sauce.  Recipe courtesy of the Beekman Boys. 

Prep time: 30 Min
Cook time: 2 Hours30 Min
Total time: 3 Hours

3 lbs lamb shoulder, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin
5 whole cardamom seed pods
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon salt
4 large carrots, sliced thin
1 small lemon with ends cut off, sliced in half, then again ¼ slices. **If using large lemon, use half.
1 cup white wine
1  qt jar of diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken stock
1 ½ cups pitted fresh green olives
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
For Sauce:
1 cup  chopped flat leaf parsley
1 ½ cups plain yogurt (not greek)
Zest of one lemon

Heat oil over medium high heat in heavy, large covered dutch oven. When oil begins to “ripple” add half of the lamb cubes. Brown thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Approximately five minutes. Once browned, transfer to paper towel lined plate with slotted spoon. Add second half of lamb cubes. Repeat.

Once all meat is browned and removed from pot, pour off any excess fat/oil if necessary, leaving about 3 tablespoons behind. Saute garlic and onions in the oil until soft. Add carrots and ginger. Sautee for an additional 2 minutes. Add lemon and white wine. Scrape up bits of burned meat from bottom of pot. Add spices. Add tomatoes and stock. Transfer meat back to pot, bring to boil. Reduce to very low simmer.

Simmer uncovered for approximately 2 hours, or until meat is very tender. If liquid level seems to drop far below meat, add more stock or water. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken during the last 30 minutes.

Add olives during the last 10 minutes of simmering.

Remove from heat. Stir in chopped fresh cilantro.

Make yogurt sauce: combine yogurt, chopped parsley and lemon zest. Stir.

Serve stew hot either in bowl or over couscous. Pour ¼ cup yogurt sauce over individual servings.