The Culinary Architect: Turning lamb stew into party dish

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The Culinary Architect: Turning lamb stew into party dish

January and February are the perfect months for entertaining at home.

All of my friends jump at an invitation this time of year, as other social obligations have come to a complete halt.

As you know, when I entertain I like to make the “affair” delicious and as easy as possible so that I may enjoy my time with my guests to the fullest.

Lamb stew is the perfect winter entree…it is easy to prepare ahead of time; in fact, it even tastes better if made a day before.

The lamb stew, one pot wonder, lends itself to being served family style and it is delectable.

Round out the meal with slow cooker “Bulghar Wheat and a salad and your entree is filling.

End your meal with homemade pear sauce and store-bought chocolates and you have a party.

Before your guests arrive, light a warm, welcoming fire, set out wine and wine glasses and you are bound to have a warming winter party that soothes the soul.

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MENU

Serves 6 to 8

Lamb Stew

Bulghar Wheat

Salad*

Pear Sauce and store-

bought chocolates and

tangerines*

*Recipe Not Given

Lamb Stew

1  tblsps. olive oil

4  slices of bacon, sliced

into 1” pieces

3 lbs.  lamb shoulder cubed

(I like to use lamb with

marrow bones, available at

A & F Market in Manhasset)

Kosher salt and freshly

ground black pepper

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons

Wondra

2 cloves garlic, minced

(I use a garlic press)

2 cups homemade beef

stock or store-bought

1 cup full-bodied red wine

1 cup crushed canned

tomatoes

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

leaves

1 lb. carrots, peeled and

cut into 2-inch thick slices,

diagonally

3 small Yukon Gold

potatoes, cut into chunks

1 lb. fresh cipolline or pearl

onions, peeled

6 small turnips, whole or

halved, depending on size

(1 lb.)

2 tblsps. unsalted butter,

at room temperature

1 (10 oz.) package frozen

green peas, defrosted

1/2 cup chopped fresh

parsley leaves

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

 Heat the olive oil in a medium, ovenproof pot over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until browned.  Transfer the bacon to a large plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

 Dry the lamb with paper towels and toss it in a bowl,  with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and then with the 1/4 cup of Wondra.  Raise the heat to medium high and cook half the lamb in the bacon fat for 5 minutes, turning occasionally until browned.  (Do not over crowd the meat as it will steam, rather than sear)

 Add the lamb to the plate with the bacon and brown the second batch, once cooked add  it to the plate.  Add the garlic to the pot and sautee for one minute.

 Pour the lamb and bacon, along with any juices back into the pot.  

Add the beef stock, wine, tomatoes (including the juice), thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits in the pot.  Simmer for 5 minutes, cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes.  

Add the carrots, potatoes, onions and turnips. Cover and return to the oven for 1 hour, until all the vegetables are tender. Rferigerate overnight.

The next day, remove any fat that has accumulated on top. Heat the lamb covered on the stove on low.  Mash the 2 tablespoons of Wondra with the butter in a small bowl, add a 1/4 cup of the Lamb Sauce and combine.  Stir the mixture into the stew and simmer on top of the stove for 10 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the defrosted peas and parsley, season to taste and serve family style.

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Bulghar Wheat
Pilaf

2 cups Red Bulghar Wheat

6 cups Homemade or

store-bought Chicken Stock

3 hours before serving, place Bulghar wheat and stock in a slow cooker. Cook on High.

Just before serving, fluff Bulghar Wheat with a fork and serve along side Lamb Stew.

Pear Sauce

7 Pears

1/4 cup apple juice or

water

2 cinnamon sticks

1/8 cup sugar optional

Using an Apple slicer, core and divide the pears into wedges Remove any seeds. Place wedges in a pot with liquid and sugar, if using.

Cook on medium heat and mash every now and then. Serve warm or chilled.

Alexandra Troy is owner of Culinary Architect Catering, a 32 year-old Greenvale-based company, specializing in private, corporate and promotional parties.  She lives in Manhasset with her husband and son.

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