Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Swedish Lamb Stew with Dill Sauce

As you may have noticed, the theme for recipes lately have been using dill. Yes, seeing the little glass full of dill sitting on the windowsill makes me happy, but I figured I could get even better use out of it. Yesterday, I commented on recipes only calling for a tablespoon here and maybe a 1/4 c there of dill. This recipe solved the problem, calling for an entire bunch of dill. I didn't want to throw the baby with the bathwater though (isn't that a great saying?) and before I threw the bunch in the pot, I cut off some from the top so I would 1/4 c dill for my sauce. My windowsill is now missing it's pretty dill, but the lamb from last night enjoyed it.

I used lamb in this dish, you could use chunks of pork or beef (stew meat or whatever else you have handy) if you prefer. Curtis doesn't like the strong gamey taste of lamb, but I've found that is easy to temper by removing a lot of the fat from the lamb before cooking it. We all enjoyed it, even baby I. I think next time I will try beef stew meat instead of lamb (because, well, it's a whole lot cheaper and already in my freezer). We had a slight sauce problem due to switching chefs in the middle of dinner making for a last minute grocery store run for noodles. Thin sauce or not, we loved it! The dill wasn't overpowering, but wonderful. This makes 4 servings. While this takes a lot of simmering time to make, hands on time is very short, making this a relatively easy meal.

Swedish Lamb Stew with Dill Sauce
adapted from Bon Appetit

2 1/2 lbs boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (or pork or beef)
4 c water
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lg carrot, chopped
1 large bunch of fresh dill (reserve 1/4 c of this for the sauce)
2 large pinchs of pepper
2 t salt

2 T butter
2 T flour
1 T white wine vinegar
2 t sugar
1/4 c fresh dill, chopped
2 T whipping cream

Place lamb, 4 c water, onion, carrot, bunch of dill, pepper and salt in a heavy large pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, skimming off foam. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours (you can do this as long as you want, really, or even in a slow cooker, but for a longer time). Strain broth into a small saucepan. Boil until reduced to 2 1/3 c (if you end up with less than this, just add a little water to get to 2 1/3 c), about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the dill from the lamb.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk 1 minute. Whisk in 2 1/3 c reduced broth. Cook until sauce thickens and boils, whisking constantly, 6 minutes (or longer in our case). Whisk in white wine vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 c chopped fresh dill. Simmer 3 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in cream and lamb an simmer until heated through about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve over noodles.

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