Virginia Willis Blog

Spring Fever: Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables

 

Spring Flowers

It’s raining today, not real rain – just the drizzle that makes the sofa look so very inviting. And, it’s just cool enough that a stew is the perfect Sunday supper.

Here’s a wonderful recipe for Lamb Stew with Spring Vegetables. I like to use the shoulder because the meat is flavorful with just enough fat so that the meat stays moist. As tempting as it may be, don’t purchase the lamb that is already cubed. It’s usually the leftover bits and pieces, often from different areas of the animal.

I absolutely adore turnips. Some of the farmers in my area are growing hakurei turnips. They are delicious raw. They are tender, very crisp and fresh, not bitter at all, almost sweet. Frankly, I have to buy 2 bunches because I always eat one on the way home! Nope, don’t even wash them! Just rub the dirt off on my shorts! Regular turnips will do, of course. And, as a matter of interest, do recommend washing them!

Bon Appétit Y’all!
VA

PS – I also send out a newsletter including a recipe every 4 weeks or so. I don’t do anything rude like sell or rent your name, and I don’t bug your with gobs of emails, so please sign up today!

www.virginiawillis.com

LAMB STEW WITH SPRING VEGETABLES

Yield: serves 4

NAVARIN D’AGNEAU PRINTANIER

Ingredients

2 pounds lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
Bouquet garni wrapped in cheesecloth of 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, and 1 bay leaf
8 small new potatoes
8 baby carrots, peeled
8 small turnips, peeled and halved
8 shallots, peeled
2 cups freshly shelled English peas
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a large oven proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove to a plate.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped onion and cook gently until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the flour and cook until light blonde in color. Add the wine and stir to loosen the brown bits and from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and tomato purée. Return the lamb to the Dutch oven and add the bouquet garni; Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to the heated oven and cook until the lamb is just beginning to become tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the potatoes, carrots, turnips, and onions. Cover and return to oven and bake and 30 minutes. Add the peas and cover and return to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve straight from the casserole with a loaf of crusty French bread.
http://blog.virginiawillis.com/2009/04/lamb-stew-with-spring-vegetables/

 

LAMB STEW WITH SPRING VEGETABLES

NAVARIN D’AGNEAU PRINTANIER

Serves 4
2 pounds lamb shoulder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup dry white wine
4 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups homemade chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
Bouquet garni wrapped in cheesecloth of 2 sprigs thyme, 3 sprigs parsley, and 1 bay leaf)
8 small new potatoes
8 baby carrots, peeled
8 small turnips, peeled and halved
8 shallots, peeled
2 cups freshly shelled English peas
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 350°. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a large oven proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove to a plate.

Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped onion and cook gently until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the flour and cook until light blonde in color. Add the wine and stir to loosen the brown bits and from the bottom of the pan. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and tomato purée. Return the lamb to the Dutch oven and add the bouquet garni; Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to the heated oven and cook until the lamb is just beginning to become tender, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the potatoes, carrots, turnips, and onions. Cover and return to oven and bake and 30 minutes. Add the peas and cover and return to oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve straight from the casserole with a loaf of crusty French bread.

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Most Delicious Deviled Eggs

Spring Flowers

I took the above photograph a few weeks ago at the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market. It was a rainy Saturday morning, overcast and cool. The light can be so nice on days like that. I just love this photo, but I can’t claim too much credit. At this farmer’s market, like many, there was not much to do. Just point and shoot! I would really like to take photography classes. (In my spare time! Ok – maybe a reward for when I complete my second book proposal.)

These deviled eggs are amazing. It’s very important to puree the yolk mixture completely, and really I prefer using a sieve or tamis. This prevents lumps and makes the mixture so much smoother as well as prettier. This is another one of those recipes that there are very few ingredients which makes the technique is so important.

I made these once for a political fundraiser at my friend Melita Easter’s house, attended by the governor of Georgia, who stood there and practically ate the whole plate. The secret is butter, a tip I picked up in culinary school that takes this Southern staple from delicious to sublime and renders people unable to use the sense God gave a cat to stop eating. (more…)

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Easter Feast: Herb-crusted Fresh Ham

Spring Flowers at the Chapel Hill Farmer's Market

Spring Flowers at the Chapel Hill Farmer’s Market

I’ve had great success with my newsletter and after a few sessions at IACP last week have decided to venture into the blogosphere. I thought I would start with sharing a recipe for Easter.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

VA

 

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Herb-crusted Fresh Ham

Mama and I now share the cooking at the holidays. I usually prepare the main courses, we share the side dishes, and she prepares the desserts. This ham is an Easter favorite. You may be surprised to see lavender listed as an ingredient in this herb crust. Although very commonly found in desserts, lavender—especially sweet English lavender—is an incredibly versatile herb for savory cooking. Be sure to use only pesticide-free, food-grade leaves and blossoms from an organic farmer’s market or online; lavender from florists, spas, or home décor shops are probably not appropriate to eat. The key to cooking with lavender is to start out with a small amount of flowers, and add more as you go. A little amount of the sweet, perfumed herb is wonderful, but adding too much lavender to your recipe is much like eating a bar of soap. A little goes a long way.
Author virginiawillis

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried untreated lavender flowers
  • Half of a fresh bone-in ham 6 to 8 pounds, preferably shank end, with skin
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-fat reduced-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

  1. To prepare the ham, in a small bowl, combine the thyme, rosemary, tarragon, and lavender. Season the ham with salt and pepper. Rub the herb mixture all over the ham and set aside to marinate and come to room temperature, 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the herb-crusted ham in a roasting pan. Bake approximately 25 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 150°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone, 2 to 21/2 hours. Remove from the oven to a rack. Tent the ham loosely with aluminum foil and let stand until the center of the ham registers 155° to 160°F on the instant-read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, pour the pan drippings into a fat separator. Remove and discard the fat. Transfer the drippings into a small saucepan to make the jus. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium to keep warm until serving. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  4. Once the ham has rested, transfer to a cutting board, carve, and serve with the jus on the side.

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