Tomato Lamb Stew

I am the type of person that always err on the side of generosity when I cook, this could be partly because one) I am caring and never want people to have a shortage of food when I am catering, two) I am just passionate about what I do, and always enthusiastic when I have to cook or bake – conversely, this does not include the anxiety I get having to cook for a new crowed (but that’s a story for another day); three), unlike professional chefs, home cooks are not bugged down by rules, as we cook for comfort, pleasure and to nourish our families and friends, and of course, ourselves included; four) as an IT and Business professional myself, I know how rules can be straight up limiting and annoying, and I am not saying this to be churlish. I guess what I am trying to say is; ‘in a world where there is bureaucracy to do anything, or get anything’ cooking should not be dictated by red tape at all, but just love and care.

Therefore, this is to say that, some of the times you will not get precise measures of how many people my recipes will serve (and I definitely give you the freedom to decide, whether by plate size, hunger level and so on). Which brings us to my latest recipe below. The stew can serve 4 to 6 or 6 to 8 people, and this is because, unlike having a countable number of meat pieces to serve per person, a stew is really not dictated by those rules. I actually remember being disappointed one day, when buying a beef stew meal somewhere that was served with rice, when I got to my table, there was actually no meat at all (I guess pettily I never made peace with that) but just vegetables covered with gravy. So, for that reason amongst other reasons, it is difficult to be precise on the number of people a stew can serve with all its glorious gravy that can disguise vegetables as meat.

This stew is easy to make, while I normally love cooking my stews on top of the stove and finish them off inside the oven, I thought I should not complicate life like that this time around and do everything on top of the stove, although I had to occasionally keep stirring, which I do not have to when using the oven. I kind of liked it as I saw it as some lazy form of exercise.

I hope you will enjoy this recipe with your loved ones.

INGREDIENTS

700 to 900g Lamb, cut into cubes

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Butter

4 Tablespoon Flour

1 Medium Onion

2 Teaspoons Crushed Garlic

400g Tomato Puree (See notes)

2 Cups Beef or Chicken Stock

1 Cup Water (See notes)

2 Large Carrots

4 Medium Potatoes

1\2 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, soaked (See notes)

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 1/2 Teaspoons Curry Powder

1 1/2 Teaspoons Paprika

1 Teaspoon Mixed Herbs

1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme

1 Teaspoon Oreganum

4 Teaspoons Sugar

Parsley, for garnish

METHOD
  1. Chop the onion, cut the meat into medium cubes (if it’s not already cut from the store), set aside.
  2. Peel the potatoes, cut into bite sizes and rinse. Set aside.
  3. Peel and chop carrots into small bitable pieces. Set aside.
  4. Heat a lidded large pot on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. On the side, mix flour with 1/2 teaspoons of paprika and curry powder then coat the lamb with flour mixture (throw away excess flour). Also see notes.
  5. Add the lamb in batches to the ready pot and fry until browned on all sides. This should not take longer than 8 to 10 minutes (per batch).
  6. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  7. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and butter, then add the chopped onions, salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar, cook for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and herbs and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add sundried tomato mix, stir and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes.
  8. Return the coated lamb to the pot along with the curry powder and paprika, mix and stir, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Add the stock, potatoes, stir, cover the pot with the lid and cook for 25 to 30 minutes (or until potatoes are fork tender but not over cooked) on medium-low heat. Then keep checking and stirring every 10 minutes.
  10. Add tomato puree, carrots and pour 1 cup of water and cook for 25 to 35 more minutes, or until the carrots are tender and the gravy has reduced and uniform. Also see note 4..
  11. Stir and check for seasoning add salt and pepper as much as needed, if you taste the tartness from the tomatoes, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar or more.
  12. To serve, spoon some of the stew over samp or rice or serve with steamed bread into shallow serving bowls and garnish with the remaining parsley.

 

NOTES:
  1. you can also use 380g Passata plus 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste, if you don’t have a can of Tomato Puree.
  2. Depending on how much flour you shake off the meat, it might make the stew gravy too thick or just thick enough. if the gravy becomes too thick towards the finishing time of cooking, you may add some extra water according to how thick you want it to be and cook for an extra 5 minutes.
  3. You may also add 1/2 of the 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes if you don’t really like them, but don’t omit.
  4. I can’t deny that some lamb cuts are more tender than other, so cooking time should be determined at the cook’s discretion.

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