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…Out Like a Lamb

Stewed lamb shoulders

Stewed lamb shoulders

farmfresh veggies

farmfresh veggies

 

Cold and dreary at times, these last weeks of winter beg for excuses to turn on the oven and hang in the kitchen. Pick one of those meals our Moms heated the whole house with. Shepherds’ pie is a dish that can be as difficult or as easy as you wish. Sometimes best composed entirely of leftovers, today we present one drawn up from scratch. Do not limit your pie to the ingredients here, add your favorites – corn, lima beans … Chopmeat, also, can be used in place of the stewmeat. It will be necessary to add some wine or stock to the chopmeat to make the gravy. While we photograph the dish with wine, this is great served with iced cold beer. Good Stuff!

Stewed Lamb Shepherds’ Pie

1 pound lamb shoulder steaks or other stewmeatPlated hot with big red wine

1 large onion, coarse chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 stalks celery, coarse chopped

2 carrots, coarse chopped

1 cup red wine or hearty beer

3 cups stock (chicken, beef, lamb, no matter)

2 bay leaves

2 cups shelled green peas (frozen will work)

3 pounds red new potatoes

1 stick butter, softened

Brown the lamb well in a small amount of oil in a high sided pan or pot with a cover. Remove and add vegetables to the hot oil. Cook well, add wine, bring to a boil and reduce shortly. Add stock, bring to a boil and reduce heat. Return stewmeat to the pot, add bay leaves, cover and place in a 300 degree oven for 2-3 hours, until the meat is quite tender. Remove from oven, remove meat from the stew and separate away the bones. Strain the liquid and return to the pot. Skim off the fat and return meat to the pot. Thicken with a slurry of water and flour until quite thick. Add the peas and reserve.

While the stew cooks make the mashed potato crust. Boil 3 pounds red new potatoes until tender. Strain and mash. Season well with salt, pepper, and 1 stick of butter. Allow to cool somewhat before working half of the potatoes into the bottom of a large nonstick pan. Be sure to work well up the sides and to try to keep a uniform thickness. Add the stew, also easier to work with if slightly cooled. Spread the remainder of the potatoes over the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown and quite hot in the middle. Serve soon and often. Good Stuff!

 

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