Friday, 23 March 2012

Lamb and Fennel Stew with Oranges and Mash

A simple stew to make over a lazy hour watching a fan-edited version of the Phantom Menace. The editors did their best but the film is still a train wreck. Luckily we had a delicious stew to cheer us up at the end!


Tastier than it looks ;)
  • a large, ripe orange
  • 350g stewing lamb
  • 300ml of lamb, beef, or vegetable stock
  • two bay leaves
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • half a head of garlic, loosest papery parts removed
  • two medium leeks
  • the tough parts of a large bulb of fennel (use the fronds and tender parts in a salad)
  • salt and pepper

Using a sharp knife or peeler, peel several long strips of orange rind from the orange. In a cast-iron stewing pot, fry the lamb at a moderate heat until seared and caramelised. Pour in the stock, orange rind strips, bay leaves, slosh in a little Worcestershire sauce, and drop in the garlic, whole and unpeeled. Cover and simmer for forty-five minutes, checking occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking.

Tail and slice the leeks lengthwise, discarding any tough or discoloured leaves. Wash, removing all dirt and grit, then roughly chop. Add to the pot and cook for a further twenty minutes, turning every so often. Top up with more water if needed.

Finely slice the tough parts of the fennel, treating it like a smaller version of celery. Add to the pot and simmer for another fifteen minutes. Top up with more water if needed.

In a separate pot, put on some scrubbed potatoes and/or sweet potatoes to boil. Mash with a little salt, butter and mustard and set aside covered, to keep warm.

Test the lamb for doneness- it should be tender and falling apart. Turn off the heat and uncover the pot; slice the orange into segments, dropping them into the pot as you go, in the same way one would for a salad. Squeeze the excess juice into the stew. Fish the garlic head up to the surface and pop the squishy cooked garlic cloves out of their sheaths using a spoon, discarding the papery head when it's empty. Stir through, taste and season - mine needed about half a teaspoon of salt and a good grating of pepper. Serve with the mash.

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