It's cold outside, baby. And wouldn't it be nice to come home to the luscious smell of slow-cooked lamb stew—along with a clean kitchen and dinner ready and waiting.
Lamb stew is especially suited to slow cooking; in fact, almost any cut of lamb can benefit from the slow-cooking process, which can make even the toughest meat falling-off-the-bone tender. This recipe yields a rich flavor created by the combination of the wine and lamb, and provides your family a complete meal with the addition of the carrots and potatoes.
Total Time: 6 to 10 hours | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4 to 6
- 4 pounds trimmed, boned lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 onions, sliced thin
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, crushed
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup baby carrots (1/2 pound or as many as you want)
- 2 cups diced potatoes or sweet potatoes
- 1 cup (or more) beef or vegetable broth
- In a large bowl, place the lamb, flour, salt and pepper, and toss to coat the meat evenly.
- Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan, and brown the lamb pieces on all sides, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, place the lamb in the Crock-Pot, leaving oil and juices in the pan.
- Add the garlic and onion to the saucepan and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, rosemary and wine. Cook another minute or so, using the wine to scrape up the bits in the pan.
- Add the mixture to the Crock-Pot, along with the carrots, potatoes and 1 cup broth.
- Cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. If the stew thickens more than you would like, add more broth while cooking.
- Lamb stew is a favorite Moroccan dish. To give your stew a Moroccan flavor burst, add 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons coriander, 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper to the onion mixture before adding it to the Crock-Pot. Serve over couscous, and garnish with raisins, nonfat Greek yogurt, shredded coconut and finely chopped almonds.
- If your family likes greens, a delicious and healthful addition is kale, spinach or Swiss chard. Chop these roughly, then add them in the last 5 minutes before serving.
If you don't have time to brown the meat, no worries: Just mix it in the flour, salt and pepper, and dump it right into the Crock-Pot. The final product will lack the caramelization produced by the browned meat, but will still pack an aromatic flavor
Lynne Pettus has worked in the communications field for more than 20 years, most recently as a technical writer and editor in the software industry. She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from USC.