Monday, 31 May 2010

Lamb stew

Today, I found out that stewed! were running a competition to find a British addition to their stew pot range (the competition was part of 30 Days of Food and Drink). It would also seem that today was the last day I could enter. Cue day of frenetic stew based activity - trying to work out an original recipe, get the ingredients and try it out.

I came up with this lamb stew with chunks of lamb rump, carrots, peas, leek and Cheshire cheese dumplings.

Unfortunately it wasn't as good as I had hoped. It was tasty but I didn't think it would win a competition. The celery was unnecessary and the dumplings didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped: not nearly as cheesy as I wanted. Maybe some wine would have added a richness of flavour. However, the mint sauce (mint and vinegar) at the end added a wonderful sour note.

Anyway, this is the recipe for my lamb stew as I would do it next time. Although I'm not sure how to improve the dumplings.

750g lamb rump steak, cubed (any stewing joint such as shoulder can be used)
100g seasoned flour
1 large leek, finely sliced
2 carrots, sliced
~200g frozen peas
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
1tsp dried rosemary
1pint lamb or chicken stock
For the dumplings: (these need improving)
5oz flour
2oz suet
2oz Cheshire cheese, crumbled
½tsp rosemary
~75ml water
Handful of mint, finely shredded
White wine vinegar

1. Toss the lamb in seasoned flour and fry in batches to brown.
2. To the same pan add the leek and carrot to sweat until soften.
3. Once softened add the garlic, rosemary and bay leaves. Fry for a couple of minutes.
4. Add the lamb back to the pan and cover with the stock.
5. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30minutes.
6. Whilst the stew is simmering make the dumplings. Combine all the dry ingredients and gradually add enough water so that a dough can be made.
7. Divide the dough to make 8 dumplings, rolling each into a ball.
8. Add the dumplings to the stew and allow to cook for 30mins.
9. Add the frozen peas and allow to cook for a further 5mins.
10. Serve in bowls garnished with the mint sauce.

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