Cake Fairy Tales

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Easy Irish Lamb Stew

Every other Saturday, the husband and I visit a meat wholesaler to load up on steaks, chops and mince to feed ourselves and our furkids. This month, however, we didn’t count on all the festive feasting and eating out putting a hold on our home cooking.

This shoulder of lamb, along with his bovine friends, has been sitting in my freezer for two weeks now, taking up valuable real estate. I can’t buy Ben & Jerry until I am certain that I will be able to close the freezer door. Since the lamb shoulder is the most awkwardly shaped, which makes for highly inefficient packing, the choice was obvious. Time to move, lambchops. 

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So what do we do with a shoulder of lamb bigger than my head? Let’s make a super-easy Irish lamb stew. It’s SUPER EASY. The hardest bit was actually trying to find a pot that would fit the whole joint. No chance of that happening, so the next best option was to DEBONE.

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It looks more challenging that it is. Just think of the shoulder as a GIANT CHICKEN LEG. One would use the same technique as with deboning a chicken leg. Except with the chicken leg, you’d use a tiny paring knife to scrape the meat from the bone, but with the lamb, you’ll, well, use a bigger knife.

Grab the ankle (or is it the hoof?) with a tea towel for stability and cut around the narrowest part of the bone and start scraping towards the shoulder (the broad part). When you reach a joint, cut around it like you would a chicken leg. A small flexible paring knife will come in handy when removing the flat layers of meat on both sides of the scapula, i.e, the triangular shoulder blade. Cut all the meat into bite-sized cubes.

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The 2.5kg shoulder of lamb, which yielded slightly under 2 kg of meat and a bunch of good stock bones, cost SGD17. So for under $20, this recipe, served with crusty bread, makes a very hearty dinner for 4-5.

Ingredients:

  • Shoulder of lamb, deboned and cubed
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 4-5 potatoes (I used russet, which was all I had in our potato bin)
  • beef or lamb stock
  • salt and pepper
  • bay leaves, garlic, thyme (optional)

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How to cook:

  1. Peel and cut all the vegetables into 1/2 cm slices.
  2. In the bottom of a good-sized pan (I used a 6.5 quart dutch oven), place a layer of onions, followed by layers of potatoes, carrots and then meat. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  3. Repeat the building of layers until all the ingredients are used.SONY DSC
  4. Tuck bay leaves, smashed cloves of garlic, sprigs of thyme in and around the stew if desired.
  5. Pour in beef or lamb stock until the ingredients are barely covered.
  6. Simmer on low heat , uncovered, skimming once, for 30-40 minutes until the meat is tender and the liquid is reduced by about a third. Serve hot with crusty bread.

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This entry was posted on February 16, 2014 by in Recipes and tagged , , , , .

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© Dana Yong and Out Of The Cake Box, [2014]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (including photographs) without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Out Of The Cake Box with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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