In going through the freezer the other day, I found a boneless lamb leg I'd bought a couple of months ago. It was a bit big to roast for just the two of us, but I had a real urge to make something with it... and lamb stew is perfect for this time of year when spring hasn't quite settled in on cold mornings and winter is fighting a pitched battle for the last few chilly nights.
So out came the carving knife and into the crockpot it went. I never cease to be amazed at how eight hours of low heat can turn the toughest piece of meat into ambrosia in this thing, and this lamb was far from the toughest assignment I'd given it. With the addition of some stock, a bit of wine and some hardy vegetables, the result was phenomenal - thick, savory gravy, meat falling apart with a spoon, and carrots tender but not mushy.
I served it with slices of baguette that I baked yesterday, but it would work equally well with mashed or boiled new potatoes with butter.
- 3 lb. (approx. after trimming) boneless leg of lamb, diced, or lamb stew meat
- 1 large onion, minced, or 1/2 bag frozen pearl onions
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves, crushed
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves, broken in half
- 1 tsp (or to taste) freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup plain flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
If using stew meat, trim the excess fat. Combine the flour, salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl or plastic zipper bag. Dredge the meat in the flour mixture (in batches if necessary). Shake off any excess flour.
Add the onion, carrots and garlic to the crockpot, then the meat. Add the beef stock, red wine and (if necessary) water to just cover the meat. Add the dried herbs and bay leaves, stir to mix well and cover.
Cook 4 hours on high, covered; uncover and cook 1 more hour on high. Reduce heat to low and cook 2-3 more hours, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork-tender and gravy is well-thickened.