Monday, February 28, 2011

Lamb and Lentil Stew (gluten free, too!)

A major winter storm hit the mountains of northern Arizona this weekend. Here at 5000' elevation, living in dense scrub oak, pinion, and juniper, snow is not unusual. But nearly a foot of snow is a bit out of the ordinary. But where we live, snow will melt almost immediately with the warm Arizona sun. And, today, only a trace remains. 

So, while we settled in for yesterday's "snow day" I popped this stew into the crock pot to enjoy on a cold winter's day.

Made using our own home grown Spring lamb Try this hearty stew for a wholesome one-pot meal!

1 T. olive oil
1-2 pounds shoulder, cubed (or use the whole steaks with bone in, separating later)
1-2 t. salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup lentils, washed and soaked overnight
3 cups broth
14 ounce can diced tomatoes
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ t. each dried thyme, basil, & sage
2 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
½ a lemon, zested and juiced
½ cup white cheese, grated (I used mozarella)

Heat oil in a heavy pot and and braise the seasoned lamb on both sides for about five minutes. Remove. Saute’ the onion and garlic in the lamb drippings for about five more minutes.

Place lamb and all remaining ingredients, except for spinach, lemon and cheese into crockpot. Set on low for 8 hours. In last 30 minutes of cooking time, fold in the spinach and lemon. Garnish individual servings with cheese when ready to serve.

Makes: Six to eight servings.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing! This was really good (my family gobbled it up), but I did make a few changes because it seemed like more work than was necessary. I'm a lazy bum of a woman so I am always looking for a way out of work. ;)

    Unlike beans, lentils do not require soaking before cooking, so I skipped that. I just sorted and rinsed them and stirred them in there.

    Also, I didn't braise the meat nor saute the onions and garlic so I eliminated the olive oil.

    They didn't have any lamb shoulder or steaks. Can you imagine? So I went with a seasoned leg.

    I put all the seasonings, broth, tomatoes and vegetables in there and stirred it up good. I then stirred in the lentils and put the leg (I didn't cube it) on top which helped keep the lentils submerged. I covered and cooked it for longer than expected. My mother had surgery today (hence the slow cooker recipe) and I got home later than I anticipated.

    Anyway, I will admit that we were all so hungry, that I served it right up. After dinner was over, I realized the mistake I had made. I forgot to add the lemon, spinach and cheese!

    We had a lot left, so not to worry, we added the rest when it was reheated and you know what? It tasted like it was freshly cooked!

    In fact, the elimination of spinach and lemon was fine. My family all informed me that it needed to be made again, before they knew anything was missing! There was no flavor loss, but just the nutritional loss.

    I picked feta cheese. I don't know, lamb and sheep's milk... it just sounded like a good mix to me. ;)

    Again, thank you so much for sharing! My family thanks you too.