Monday, September 30, 2013

Experimental Stew

I like to experiment in the kitchen - when I have time!  Usually my experiments turn out well - or at least edible!  I especially like to experiment with stews and soups!  Mutton, at least in this country, has a reputation for being greasy and strong flavored.  Our mutton, in my opinion, is neither - but I always like to cook some of our mutton before recommending it to our customers.  Yesterday, I made up a new recipe - with pretty good success!

I started with about 2 pounds of mutton. We had this latest batch cut into 2-inch, bone-in cubes.  I trimmed the fat and some of the bones, and browned the meat in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. I then sauteed one medium onion and 2 large cloves of garlic in olive oil.  I added the meat and onion/garlic mixture to the crock pot.  I poured 4 cups of homemade chicken broth and a half can of coconut milk over the top, and seasoned it with salt, pepper, and ras al hanout seasoning (a mixture of ginger, cumin, tumeric, cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, allspice, nutmeg, paprika, garlic, cloves and cayenne).  I also threw in 2 bay leaves for fun.  I also added 4 diced potatoes.

I love the crock pot because I can start a meal in the morning, go off and work all day, and come home to dinner!  When we returned from a day of wood-cutting, I added a cup of lentils (in retrospect, I should have added 1/2 cup - the beans soaked up most of the moisture).  I also added 12 padron peppers (cored and diced).  We let the stew cook another hour.

The meat was WONDERFUL!  Mild and tender, and quite tasty!  I should have added more liquid when I added the lentils, but that was the only fault we could find with the stew!  This recipe would be great in a dutch oven over the campfire, too.  We'll keep experimenting!  In the meantime, I'm having the leftovers for dinner tonight!

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