Autumn Walks and a delicious casserole

by grainnep

OO&L Stew I

Autumn is officially here and it has turned a little bit chilly. One of life’s simple pleasures is a bowl of delicious stew after a family walk. Such an easy option for feeding a hungry family on cold days. Easy to make too, all you need is some good quality ingredients and let time do its thing.

I made this stew at the weekend and included some delicious courgette tarts which I put into the bottom of the bowl to serve the stew on on. ‘You’re very fancy’ was my sisters response, ‘no ordinary bowl of stew in this house’. In truth, I wanted to road test whether you can make the stew a bit more refined for when I have some friends round…. Not that I told her she wasn’t ordinarily worth the effort.

Slow Cooked Lamb Casserole
Oven at 160C
Serves 6
3 lbs lamb shoulder trimmed to 2” chunks or 2 shoulders of lamb boned and trimmed.
(This recipe works equally well with beef or pork)

4 tbsp Rapeseed oil
5 carrots peeled and evenly chopped
3 Shallots peeled and sliced.
1 bouquet garni of thyme, rosemary and bay
13 fl oz good quality meat stock
110ml red wine
3 handfuls Flat leaf parsley chopped finely for serving.

In a heavy pan, heat the oil over high heat until smoking and add your seasoned meat in batches.
Sear until caramelised on all sides.
Remove from the pan and set aside.
Tip out the excess oil, deglaze with a few glugs of wine and pour the deglazed liquid onto the meat.
Turn the heat down to medium, add some more rapeseed oil and add the shallots and carrots, season well and cook for 5 minutes or so until the shallots are slightly translucent.
Add the wine, bring up to a bubble and then cook until it has reduced by about half.
Return the meat to the pot and add the stock.
Ensure you have enough liquid to cover the meat – if not, add more stock.
Bring to the boil and transfer to preheated oven for about 1.5 hours – 2 hours.
Keep cooking until the meat is meltingly tender.
Check it from time to time and remove any grease which rises to the top of the cooking pot.
I usually strain the cooking liquid into a separate pot and cook at a bubble until the sauce is reduced to a nice consistency.
Just before serving, return the sauce to the pot with the meat and bring meat up to hot temperature and serve with delicious creamy mash on the side.

OO&L Stew III