Mystery Mess – NOW What’s for Dinner?

Yesterday I walked out to the barn to retrieve some lamb chops from the freezer – the last of three lambs purchased last year.  My mouth was set on Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary and pan-seared medium-rare lamb.

And then I opened the freezer…

Mystery Caption – Too many came to our mind! What’s your idea?

The door to the freezer hadn’t sealed.

New plan.  Take out everything that is already defrosted and deal with it immediately and then work through the mystery mess in the freezer as quickly as possible.  Now, as it turns out, this plan actually coincides with a need to clear out the freezer anyway in preparation for either a whole pig or cow, however, the time frame just got bumped up a wee bit.

As I was sorting, I found some already cooked lamb from both the chop and… maybe some rib cuts?  In any case, I switched gears and got to work on a stew instead.  For those of you who need a recipe recipe, this is going to freak you out.  On the other hand, wouldn’t it be cool if it inspired you to use up a leftover or two instead of waiting for it to develop some serious nastiness and then throwing it out?

Lamb and Red Potato Stew with Sage and Rosemary

Lamb and Red Potato Stew with Sage and Rosemary
The two most important parts of this recipe and any stew or soup recipe is 1) taking the time to saute everything well and 2) seasoning with salt and pepper before the liquid goes into the pot.

olive oil
1 large onion and equal amount of carrot, cut into large 1-inch chunks
about a pound of leftover lamb
6 or so medium-sized red potatoes, cut into large 1-inch chunks (or quartered)
salt and pepper
fresh sage and rosemary tied up with kitchen string
garlic, minced
red wine
tomatoes (I used three small ones from a batch of canning that didn’t have enough to actually send through the water bath)
beef stock (I used a little bit of pork stock, beef stock and leftover au jus from another meal – these were part of the mystery mess in the freezer)

Heat the oil in a large stock pot and add the onions and carrots.  Saute until they begin to brown on the bottom of the pan.  Add the lamb, red potatoes, salt and pepper, and herb bundle and cook until they begin to brown.  Make a space for the garlic and saute for 30 seconds or so.  Dust the veggies with flour and stir until fully incorporated.  Add the red wine, tomatoes and stock, stir well and bring to a simmer.  Simmer covered until the veggies and potatoes are fork tender, at least 10 minutes.

Serving size will depend on how much of everything you use and how meat heavy you want your stew to be.  Mine served 6 to 8.

Switching gears

5 thoughts on “Mystery Mess – NOW What’s for Dinner?

  1. Easy and tasty. Popular with my family (my children are 4 and 2). I used vege stock instead of wine and omitted the celery (not a family favourite!) Next time I’ll halve the amount of lemon zest and juice – it overpowered the flavour slightly. Otherwise, the balance of the rosemary and olives with the lamb was just right. Mine turned out a lot more tomatoey looking than the photo! I served it with sliced toasted pitta bread for dipping in the juices.

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