Monday, May 09, 2011

Turkish Flavors Meld in Lamb Stew

Not long after I returned from Turkey I made this stew.  It's a tasty amalgamation of several lamb and vegetable stews I had during my trip.  Many Turkish meat dishes are flavored with  fresh dill, so I incorporated that into this dish.  I served this with bulgur, a frequent Turkish side dish, but rice would also work well. 

Lamb Stew with Tomatoes, Peppers and Dill
Serves 4

1 lb. eggplant
1/2 tsp. salt plus additional if needed
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless lamb stew (1” cubes)
2 cups slivered onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red bell pepper pieces, sliced into 1/2” strips
1/2 cup sliced carrots, cut into 1/4” rounds
2 cups cubed potatoes cut into 1/2” chunks
1 lb. tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. hot red pepper (chili) flakes
About 2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbs. plus 1 Tbs. chopped fresh dill

Peel eggplant if desired. Cut into 1” cubes, toss with 1/2 tsp. of salt. Place in colander. Let sit for half hour. Rinse and drain well. Dry.

Heat oil in deep sauté pan or large pot over medium high heat. Brown lamb chunks. Remove from pan and set aside. Add onions and sauté until golden. Add garlic and sauté for one minute. Add eggplant, red pepper strips and carrots. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, tomatoes, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Mix well. Add lamb pieces with any juices. Add stock until ingredients are submerged about 3/4 of the way. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover, lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour (until lamb chunks are very tender, time may vary), stirring occasionally and adding additional stock if necessary. Remove cover, stir in 1 Tbs. of dill. Cook for about 25 minutes until stew is thickened and meat is extremely tender. Taste and mix in salt if needed. Sprinkle with remaining dill.

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