I often buy local whole lambs from a couple of friends of mine, so sometimes I am left with odd bits, half a shoulder blade here, a scrag end of neck there. As I was rummaging through my freezer the other day I noticed a few odds and ends and decided to make them all into a lamb stew.
I put a few carrots in mine, I've always put vegetables in stews, its a sneaky way to get children to eat some vegetables and I like the way the carrots suck up the flavour and leave a sweetness to the stew, but if you don't like it, leave it out.
Its difficult to give weights for a stew, this is a rough guide.
In this stew there was,
4 pounds of lamb left on the bone
3 large onions
6 large cloves of garlic
1.5lb of carrots, peeled and chopped into nice big chunks
1 bottle of red wine in this case it was a Fitou
1 50g tin of anchovies
2 lamb stock cubes
1 good tablespoon of tomato puree
1 good tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary or 1 teaspoon of dried
1 tablespoon of oil for frying
salt and black pepper
possibly a little cornflour
Slice the onions, fry gently, add the meat having cut off any obvious spare fat, brown the meat, then add the garlic at this stage, otherwise you will burn it and then it will be bitter, fry for a couple of minutes being careful not to burn the garlic, add the wine, tin of anchovies, stock cubes, carrots, tomato puree, rosemary, black pepper, but not the salt, you can check the seasoning in a couple of hours, you have added stock cubes and anchovies so it may not need any. Top up with water so that the liquid is just covering the meat and pop in a medium oven for a couple of hours or so, or in a low oven for longer. Check it every so often just incase it gets too dry.
Just before popping in the oven.
Cook until the meat is very tender and falling off the bone, then take the meat off the bone and slightly shred it, skim the fat off as there will be plenty. If you have time, let it go cold to room temperature, then chill it in the fridge and lift the fat off. Look at the thickness of the stew you may need to thicken it a little with cornflour. During all of this check for seasoning, you may need to add a little salt and more pepper. Then gently reheat in the oven.
You could at the gently reheating stage go the extra mile and add dumplings.
I will serve it with mashed potatoes and something green and leafy.
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