Lamb stew is hard to improve upon, but add in some caramelized shallots and it’s even better. The tomato paste adds a depth of flavor and colour that yields a rich and luscious sauce.
2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
16 shallots, trimmed and peeled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 carrots, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 small cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Gather these tools: cutting board, chef’s knife, wet measuring cups, measuring spoons, Dutch oven, wooden spoon, slotted spoon
Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add oil and brown the meat cubes, working in batches if necessary. Season the meat, remove to a bowl and reserve.
In the same pan, add the shallots and sauté for 8-10 minutes until caramelized and softened. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the carrot, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for 1 minute (add additional vegetable oil if needed). Add the meat and the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste and stir.
Add chicken stock to cover and season with salt and pepper; stir and bring to a boil. Cover and place in the oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
When the meat is tender, strain and separate from the sauce. Reduce the sauce over medium heat until slightly thickened.
Return the meat and the shallots to the sauce. Simmer gently until the shallots are softened and the sauce has thickened further, about 15 minutes. The sauce is finished when it coats the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
And we are drinking Nederburg Manor House Shiraz 2009.