My first lamb meal using my Kenilworth Free Range supply is an easy one.
The neck piece is not big enough to serve three of us and the bits and pieces are made for stock. I certainly don’t want to give up freezer space to these pieces so I break out the Le Creuset and start off by trimming excess fat off the lamb before browning them in a little oil. The lamb is covered with delicious fat still and this renders even more into the pot. I love lamb fat and I decide not to drain it away at this stage. I brown five small onions in the fat until they are soft and beginning to colour. I toss the lamb pieces in a couple of tablespoons of cornflour to add some thickener in a way that isn’t going to introduce lumps. Finally I add 2 litres of water, some chicken stock, some thyme, sage and oregano before letting the whole thing simmer for two hours. I then let it rest, covered, overnight. (I do this mainly because I am out of vegetables and didn’t think ahead).
By morning there is a white fat crust on the top of the cooled broth. There are some decisions to be made and I leave the fat (but it would be really easy to remove/reduce at this point) and remove the bones and inedible stuff from the lamb which is now fall-apart tender.
When I am ready to prepare dinner I add seven large chopped carrots, about ten baby potatoes cut into forkable pieces, some chopped flat leaf parsley, loads of chopped kale and some red lentils to help thicken the stew a little more and add texture. I then simmer it with the lid on. Essentially this is a lamb stew but there is actually very little meat in it. There is a real lamby sweetness running through it but the main eating is vegetables with only scraps of tasty lamb. After an hour it’s ready. Seasoning is quite important and I never seem to add enough salt to stews.
I just serve it with bread. The lamb, onion and carrot sweetness is delicious and the texture of kale adds some interest too. It’s a nice dish for an autumn evening and, lamb fat aside, I think it’s quite nourishing and healthy.
The recipe will serve six normal hungry people and eight ‘recipe book humans’.