A beautiful stew that is definitely company worthy and I found it in Nancy Fuller’s book, ‘Farmhouse Rules’.  This was Sunday dinner for us (along with one last Peach Crisp), and it was brilliant over some buttered, sour cream noodles…and then the girls got some for lunch in their thermos’…can you even imagine the looks in that school cafeteria? – enjoy!

Lamb Stew (with Mushrooms and Sherry)

~1/2 lb. bacon, chopped finely before cooking

2 lbs. lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

454 g button mushrooms (~4 cups), quartered

4 large carrots, cut into chunks

2 Vidalia (or other sweet) onions, cut into chunks

5 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled

1/4 c. flour

1 L beef broth AND 1/2 c. dry sherry

1 c. heavy cream

3 T. EACH chopped fresh parsley AND tarragon

3 to 4 c. frozen peas

buttered noodles or mashed potatoes for serving

In a large Dutch Oven on your stove top, cook the bacon until it’s very crisp and then remove it to a bowl or plate, reserving most of the bacon fat.  Brown the lamb, about 3 minutes per side, in the same pot, in the bacon fat, and sprinkle it liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper as it cooks.  As the meat gets evenly browned, remove it to a plate and proceed with the remaining stew meat – I was able to get mine all browned in 2 batches.

There should be enough oil remaining in your pot to continue cooking (if not, add a titch more), and then add in the mushrooms, carrots, onions and garlic and cook and stir for a few minutes until the vegetables get softened slightly. Add in the flour and stir until there is no trace of white, then pour in all of the broth and sherry, stir and then – either simmer, covered, but with a vent, on your stove top for 2 hours – OR – cover completely and pop it into your oven at 325 for 2 hours.  I chose the oven method because we had to go out, but either way the lamb with end up as fall-apart perfection.

When you’re about 20 minutes away from dinner (timed with your noodles or mashed potatoes), heat the stew up to just barely simmering, add in the cream, parsley, tarragon and frozen peas and allow it to simmer gently until all is heated through.  Serve it up over your chosen sauce-soaking-up goodness and call it a very good day.

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