A Simple Lamb Stew for Easter

Serves 2.

Time requirement: about 15 minutes prep and 2 hours cooking.

What you will need:

A 1-pound lamb steak cut from the leg.

1 teaspoon kosher salt.

16 frozen pearl onions.

2 carrots (5-6 ounces in total).

1 celery stalk (2-3 ounces).

2 medium tomatoes (5-6 ounces each).

1 Anaheim pepper (2½-3 ounces).

8 sprigs of fresh thyme tied together with a string.

3 tablespoons of olive oil.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

1 cup veal stock (Or replace with chicken stock).

1 garlic clove put through a press.

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

Boiled rice (recipe is in the chapter Building Blocks).

Chopped fresh mint as a garnish.

Preparation:

Trim the lamb steak of any large pieces of fat and cut the steak into pieces about 1 inch by 2 inches. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.

While the lamb rests with the salt, remove the pearl onions from the freezer and set in a bowl to thaw. Wash, peel, and cut the carrots into equal size pieces about 2 inches long. Do the same for the celery and Anaheim pepper. Peel, seed, and chop the tomatoes.

Heat a large heavy pan on the stove top. When the pan is hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the lamb and cook to get some browning on the lamb. After a 3-5 minutes, add the carrots, celery, and Anaheim pepper to the pan. Let everything cook for a few minutes stirring often.

Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons flour. Stir the whole about. Add the onions, tomatoes, thyme, veal stock, garlic, and fresh black pepper. Give it stir. When the contents of the pan are at a low boil, turn the heat to its lowest setting. Cover the pan. Simmer the stew for 2 hours. Check it occasionally to stir and assure that it is not going dry. If the stew is getting dry, add a little water. Depending on your stove top, you may need to use a heat shield to keep stew at a simmer.

On the other hand, if the stew tastes a little weak, uncover the pan and cook at a more rapid pace the last 15 minutes to reduce the sauce and concentrate the flavors.

Serve over boiled rice with chopped fresh mint as a garnish.

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