Lamb and Red Lentil Stew
- Serves: 6 – 8
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes
- Total Cooking time: 1 hour
Lentils are an often overlooked part of the legume family in western cuisine, which in my opinion is a real shame, the delicious earthy flavor lends itself well to foods such as ham, or lamb, or other strongly flavored meats that normally overwhelm a dish and steal the spotlight. Lentils also come in a variety of colors, each with slightly different properties from one another ranging from mildly nutty to full and loamy. This Particular recipe pairs red lentils, also called masoor dal which are typically used in East Indian cooking, with lamb which has been marinated in a Greek style marinade of red wine, lemons and herbs and I happen to think that these two foods are practically made for each other, where each food manages to smooth out the rough edges and bring out the best qualities in each other. As a tip for those who find lamb meat a little too strong for the palate, if you trim as much fat as possible from the meat before you cook it, the meat will be both considerably healthier and much milder to the taste.
|lamb stew meat, trimmed of as much fat as possible
|Red wine (merlot or syrah are recommended)
|ground black pepper
|red lentils, soaked 20 minutes in 4qt very hot water
|yellow onion, chopped (about 1 large onion)
|Carrot, peeled and diced
|tomatoes, roasted, peeled and chopped (or 2 cans chopped tomatoes)
|salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the lamb meat by placing in a large, non metal bowl. Next add the red wine, lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper to the lamb. Mix well, cover and marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours but preferably overnight or longer. Next, bring the lentils to a gentle boil in a large heavy bottomed stock pot over medium heat and season with the cumin, bay leaves, and curry powder. Cook 25-30 minutes or until tender and remove from the heat. Drain the marinade from the lamb and discard the liquid. Sautee the meat over medium high heat with the chopped onions until the lamb is well browned and then mix in the carrots and chopped tomatoes. Simmer 15 minutes or until the tomatoes break down some. Add the stewed lamb to the lentils and bring back to a simmer over low heat until heated thru. Season to taste and remove and discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve with generous hunks of warmed sweet French bread and enjoy!