Thursday, December 19, 2013

Hunger Games Capitol Stew

Here's the thing. I love food way too much for my own good. The only way I can get myself to make regularly healthy choices is to mix things up a bit and make things that excite me. With all this cold weather, it's comfort food time. Nothing is better than snuggling up with a good book and a piping hot meaty dinner! That's right people, I'm talking stew.

I try to eat Paleo most of the time and as much as I love soups and stews most of them include dairy and/or cream. However, this recipe was devised specifically for Paleo folks who love The Hunger Games and who want their own parachute to deliver Lamb and Plumb stew directly to their kitchen. Get ready for the guilt free delicious!

  • 3 lb. boneless lamb shoulder or leg, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium parsnip, corsely chopped 
  • 2 medium carrot, coarsely chopped 
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups low-salt beef broth
  • 1 cup of water
  • 2 cups peeled pearl onions
  • 1 cup prunes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbs. lemon juice
  • baking parchment

  1. Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Spread the lamb on paper towels to dry for 10 minutes before browning.
  3. In a 6-quart oven safe pot, heat the oil over medium to medium-high heat. 
  4. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the meat well and then transfer it to a large bowl.
  5. Once all of the lamb is browned, remove the pot from the heat to let it cool for a few minutes.
  6. Add 3 Tbs. of the fat to the pot. (If there is not enough, add extra virgin olive oil to equal 3 Tbs.) 
  7. Return the pot to medium heat, then add the yellow onion, and coarsely chopped carrot. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula, until the vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 6 minutes. 
  8. Stir in the ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and celery seed, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes.
  9. Add the wine, stirring with the wooden spatula to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Raise the heat to medium high and boil to reduce by about half, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the beef broth and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil.
  10. Return the lamb to the pot along with any juice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer.
  11. Crumple a 12x16-inch piece of parchment, then flatten it out. Place the parchment directly on the surface of the stew, allowing the ends to come up the sides of the pot. Cover and put in the oven.
  12. After 1 hour of stewing, add the pearl onions, carrot pieces, and prunes to the pot. Cover with the parchment and lid, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, about 1 and a half hours.
  13. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Degrease the stew by laying a clean paper towel over the surface of the stew and gently pushing it into all the bumps and dips, then quickly peeling it off. Repeat as necessary with more paper towels. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Let us know what you think of the recipe? Good? Bad? Real or not real? Are there other types of geeky recipes you'd like to see us Paleo-ify? Let us know in the comments!

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