Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lamb Stew with Plums

Last night I hosted my book club, and we discussed the Hunger Games. I wasn't sure what kind of food to prepare for it, but luckily this book/movie is so trendy that there were Hunger Games-inspired recipes all over the internet.  Apparently Katniss (for those of you who have read the book) mentions that she could eat the Capital's lamb stew with plums by the bucketful. I concur.  This was so good, and it made so much, that some of the girls asked to take some home with them.  I sort of combined the original recipe with another one that had plums, so I'll add the modifications below.  I served with bread and honey butter and it was delicious! Also, just because I feel like typing still... I will tell you that I think lamb is one of my favorite meats.  It is always so tender.
1 1/2 pounds thickly sliced bacon, diced
6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut
into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
Mushrooms, chopped 
4 cups beef stock (I think I added a few cups more)
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 cups diced carrots
2 large onions, cut into bite-size pieces
3 potatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves 
1 cup dried plums, chopped (prunes) 
1 can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch

1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
2. Put lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat.
3. Place meat into crock pot (leave 1/4 cup of fat in frying pan). Add the garlic and yellow onion and mushrooms and saute untill onion begins to become golden. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the crock pot with bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, plums thyme, bay leaves, brown sugar and tomato sauce to pot. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.  To thicken soup, mix cornstarch with 1 cup of the broth.  Enjoy!