This is the recipe I was MOST excited about for the month of April, which if you’re just tuning in was filled with sardines and coconut and asparagus (two of which I surprisingly really enjoyed). I actually really love lamb. REALLY love it! I always feel a little guilty when I eat it, but it’s not enough to make me stop that’s for sure. My dad gave me a leg of lamb for Christmas which I foolishly wasted a few months ago before I joined the illustrious ranks of FFWD. Silly girl. So when faced with buying 3 lbs of lamb myself, I just couldn’t do it. Flippin’ $40 for just one ingredient for this stew. Sorry Charlie, not gonna happen. So I went the cheapy McCheapster route and used beef. I mean I went to the meat market and everything and had them cut up a roast for me so I feel like I got the nicest cheapy beef I could but yeah, I’m kinda hanging my head.
So things start out in one of the most promising ways a kitchen venture can – getting browned in a Dutch oven. I don’t know that I’ve ever made anything that wasn’t delicious in it. Seriously.
The main characters of this dish are all hanging together for your viewing pleasure. I felt like I wanted to give the Baraboo Meat Market props for the nice job they did with this beef but a pile of raw meat is not all that photo-friendly. I think the bag of cutie little mini onions in the back helps though. So after getting a nice brown crust on the meat, you throw it back into the pan with some flour and salt and pepper and bam! That’s a lot of meat right there!
After the addition of some broth and other things comes the long simmer and the “play with the veggies” time. I have never bought these little miniature boiler onions before, but I really liked them, if only for appearance – I didn’t think they tasted any different really. I made a few changes in the veggies area too just subbing in some plain ol’ Russets for the red or Yukon potatoes called for in the recipe and then adding some extra carrots and an extra turnip. The recipe said medium-sized carrots and one medium-sized turnip but it seemed like all the veggies available to me were mini-sized this week. The carrots seriously looked like a wand straight out of Harry Potter they were so skinny and twiggy. I mean if anyone’s wand in Harry Potter was orange. The potato sub was really just because I had the Russets and I never seem to be able to get through a whole bag of potatoes before they get all eye-y. Also, I have never really gotten the appeal of Yukon Gold potatoes. I think it’s just that I was raised on the very dependable Russet and I’m a little averse to change. Sue me. The turnips were actually really pretty and I meant to take a picture of them but I only remembered when I was halfway through peeling the most gorgeous one. Whoops! Here’s the majority of the veggies chillaxing with some butter and sugar – YUM!
I was a little bit afraid we were going to have a French Onion Soup repeat and not be eating until like 9:30 PM but we got to the table at the very respectable time of 7:45 – kind of European, but not full-on. More like just really cool, trendy Americans. That’s what I’m going with. Check out this perfect bite! It has a little bit of everything:
Since I didn’t make the real recipe, I feel unqualified to give a real opinion. This was a very nice beef stew that I will definitely enjoy for lunch for the next few days but I am left wishing that lamb was a little more affordable so I could have made the real deal. It does look pretty though, doesn’t it?
I feel obliged to mention the bread we ate with dinner because it is SO GOOD! We each had a toasted slice of English Muffin Bread with our soup and good lord it’s delicious. I baked it yesterday at work to combat a pervading gluey smell from some remodeling upstairs and I would highly recommend it. I have eaten it with every meal for the last two days. Yeah, it’s that good. So next week we’re making flounder – again forcing me out of my comfort zone and into the unknown world of cooking fish. It should be interesting assuming I can find some flounder to get all up in here. Wish me luck!