Monday, October 31, 2011

Curried Pumpkin Lamb Stew

Lately I have been craving lamb and as the air gets a bit of chill what better way to enjoy lamb than in a warming and cozy, yet complex stew accompanied by roasted pumpkin, curry and various spices!

*Note: Make your life easier and have everything "Mise en place" before you begin!

1lb or 2 lamb steaks cubed (Trader Joe's has some lovely cuts!)
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1/2 brown onion, diced
1 leek, cleaned and chopped (both green and white parts)
6 garlic cloves, whole
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3-4 canned tomatoes (San Marzano is ideal!)
1 cup red wine (preferably a French Rhone blend)
2 cups pumpkin, chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 1/2 tbsp orange or citrus olive oil
1 tsp Harissa paste
2 tsp Ras el hanout
1 tsp Curry
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp clementine zest
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For Roasted Pumpkin:
-Toss diced pumpkin in orange olive oil and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes -until soft, tossing around half way through, set aside to be added to stew

For Stew:
-Toss cubed pieces of lamb in a bowl with flour and lemon pepper to coat
-In a Dutch oven over medium high heat add the lamb and brown on all sides working in batches so as not to crowd, once browned removed from pan and put aside on a plate
-Lower stove top heat to medium, add an additional tsp of olive oil if necessary and pour in onions, carrots and celery, cook until softened and beginning to brown
-Add minced garlic and cook for a minute
-Add in Ras el hanout, Harissa, Curry, cumin and nutmeg
-Add in 3-4 canned tomatoes squishing them manually into the mixture
-Stirring with a spoon (wooden is ideal!) scraping up brown bits from bottom of the pan
-Add 1 cup red wine (add a bit of the wine earlier as you are adding the spices if mix is getting too dry)
-Add the two cups roasted pumpkin, stirring as adding
-Return the lamb to the mixture
-Add the cinnamon stick
-Now add in your beef stock, stirr and bring to a boil
-Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake 1 1/2-2 hours
-Remove the cinnamon stick
-If the sauce seems too think transfer meat and vegetables to a bowl and cook down the sauce on the stove top
-Taste and add salt and pepper as desired
-Serve each bowl of stew garnished with clementine zest and chopped pistachios

Suggested Wine Pairing:
Wine from France's Rhone Valley will always be my first pick for a dish with lamb, or go domestic and try a central coast Syrah or Grenache

Suggested Beer Pairing:
Layer more pumpkin flavor to your meal! Try Shipyard Brewing Co's Pumpkinhead Ale with hints of pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of orange!

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