Friday, March 16, 2007

Drunken lamb stew and canned summer

Just a quick update on my pre-St. Patrick Day’s dinner party last night. For the main course, I made up a lamb version of the bison carbonnade.

I used lamb stewing meat from Horizon Heritage Farm in Qualicum Beach, a bunch of roasted local veggies, a bottle of Phillip’s Double Chocolate Porter and some beef stock. The recipe pretty much follows the bison carbonnade recipe. This time, I didn’t bother thicken it as much because I wanted a ‘slurpable’ soup. It’s just seems more satisfying to slurp your way through a intense, meaty broth on a cold and rainy night, IMHO. I also planned to use the leftovers for a lamb and noodle soup.

The stew was delicious. I even impressed myself :)

The meat was tender and flavorful and worked wonderfully with the porter. I let it braise for 1 ½ hours at 300F. You could cut the lamb with a spoon and it had just enough at that unique lamb flavor to give the stew character without being overpowering. Definitely much better than any New Zealand lamb I’ve had to work with in the past. Even DH who isn’t much of a lamb fan loved it and if we didn’t have dinner guests, I think he would have licked his bowl clean. Instead, he had to resign to simply wiping away the last drop of stew with a homemade cheesy biscuit. The biscuits were a basic biscuit recipe with the addition of grated
Rathtrevor cheese from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. The nutty flavor of the cheese complimented the intense and savory stew.

I forgot to take a picture of the biscuits. They went pretty fast ;)

BTW, I got the lamb from Horizon Heritage farm as part of their lamb sampler package. Check out the Nanaimo 100 Mile Diet for info about getting some yourself yummy meats and for other farm gate sales. There’s a resource guide at the bottom of the page.

For dessert, I made a fast and dirty peach and apple crisp with fresh local apples and local peaches that I canned last summer. The peaches were so sweet that I didn’t bother adding any sugar to the fruit. Only a couple teaspoons of cornstarch, the juice of half a lemon and some cinnamon.

I topped it with a crumble topping made with 1/3 cup True Grain’s kamut flour, a couple tablespoons of butter, spoonful of organic cane sugar and pinch of cinnamon. Combine the mixture until it resembles coarse sand and sprinkle over the fruit. Pop it into a 350F oven for 30-45 minutes or until the topping is browned and the fruit is soft. If the topping is starting to brown too much before the fruit is cooked, simply cover your dish with some foil.

It’s certainly nice to have homemade local canned peaches on hand. It's a delicious and much bit of delayed summer gratification in a jar for these caliginous (oh, how I love that word) days.

Have a great weekend!


Nanaimo’s 100 Mile Diet Challenge

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