Lamb Chili

Serves 2.

Time requirement. 2½ hours start to finish but you are not tied to the stove the entire time. Also, this is a great dish to make one day and serve another.

What you will need:

1 pound of lamb stew meat cut into about 1½ cubes. A lamb steak cut from a leg of lamb works well.

¼ cup vegetable oil.

½ teaspoon kosher salt.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.

1½ teaspoon ground roasted cumin.

1-pound fresh tomatoes to yield 1 cup of tomato puree.

2 green peppers, to yield 6 ounces of julienne cut.

1 small onion, sliced (that’s 4-5 ounces).

1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled.

1 chili pepper

1 cup vegetable stock.

1 tablespoon Mirin (Mirin is a sweetened sake that you will find in the Asian section of your grocery store.)

1 tablespoon cornstarch.

3 tablespoons water.

Boiled rice to serve with the stew.

Preparation:

In a bowl combine the lamb with the oil, salt, pepper, and cumin and allow the lamb to marinade for 1 hour.

While the lamb marinades prepare the remaining ingredients.

Peel, seed, and puree the tomatoes in the food processor. Measure out 1 cup. The remaining tomato set aside for another use.

Wash the peppers. Cut the top of the peppers and remove the core. Then cut the pepper into julienne strips. Weigh out 6 ounces of pepper.

Separate the garlic cloves and peel each.

Wash and seed a chili and then chop it. The chili you use (and the number you use) is up to you and your tolerance for heat. If you like a lot of heat use more chilis and chose a hot style. If you are timid, I recommend 1 jalapeno chili.

Heat a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven (one with a tight-fitting top) over a moderate heat. The pan is ready when water immediately dances and vaporizes on contact. At that point pour the lamb and its marinade into the pan. Spread out the lamb in the pan and allow it the meat to brown. Occasionally stir the lamb as it cooks so it browns evenly. The lamb will be done in 4-5 minutes. Remove the lamb to a plate.

Add the green pepper and onions to the pan and sauté them for 4-5 minutes, then add the chopped chili and garlic cloves and cook 2 more minutes. Add the vegetable stock (or water) and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes. Turn the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer stew for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes of cooking, return the lamb to the pan and cook (covered) for an additional 30 minutes. After the lamb has cooked in the stew for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and uncover the pan. Leave the stew to rest for 30 minutes. Then look for the whole garlic cloves and mash them and mix them into the sauce.

You can proceed to complete the dish or place it in the refrigerator and finish it later. The next step is to thicken the juices in the pan with cornstarch. Mix the 3 tablespoons water with 1 tablespoon mirin and one tablespoon of cornstarch. Combine these well and then add this mix to the simmer stew stirring all the time. The stew will thicken quickly. Once thicken, it is ready to serve. I serve this stew over boiled rice.

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