Me on the other hand - I start scurrying around like a squirrel. Thanksgiving is coming and time for the big day with my extended family. I start thinking about favors for the guests, what I will cook, where I am going to find all the chairs..... and then Christmas follows. So I actually welcome the longer dark days. More time to cook nice meals too.
What about you? How do you like November?
Here is a new autumnal recipe developed for our lamb biz. It can be stretched to feed a crowd by increasing the amount of butternut squash and serving over a grain of your choice. Take care when cooking the squash at the end of the preparation. You don’t want it to turn to mush but want the chunks to remain so that it will be more visually pleasing. If it does, no worries - it will still taste delish. As with all stews, it can be made a few days ahead and kept in the fridge to let the flavors develop.
You can print the recipe over here on our Leyden Glen Lamb Website.
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. lamb shoulder chops, stew meat, or leg slices
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 small 14 oz. can tomatoes cut up or 1 pound tomatoes chopped small
1 1/2 cups liquid - stock (lamb, chicken, or beef), red or white wine or water
1 large butternut squash - 2 to 3 pounds
1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar
parsley for garnish
In a dutch oven or large lidded pot, brown the lamb in one tablespoon oil on both sides. If it won’t all fit, brown in two batches. Set aside. Chop the onions and garlic fine. Add the remaining oil to the pan and loosen any bits of lamb. Cook the onions and garlic in the oil until soft taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the tomatoes, herbes de Provence, salt, pepper and liquid and stir. Bring just to a boil on the stove and take off the heat. Return the lamb to the pot.
Place in a 325 degree oven and cook covered for 2 to 3 hours (or at 250 for 4 to 5 hours). Alternately simmer on the top of the stove over low heat for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is falling apart and off the bone. Let cool and remove the bones, returning shredded lamb to pot with sauce.
Alternately, cook in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Finish the stew following the instructions below.
While the meat is cooking, peel the squash and cut into one inch cubes. Once lamb is returned to pot, add butternut squash and cook uncovered on top of the stove until the squash can be pierced with a knife and is tender. If using a slow cooker, cook the squash on the stove separately, then add to the stew and heat through.
Stir the sugar or maple syrup through the stew at the end - it will bring out the sweetness in the squash. Garnish with parsley.
If you have time, let the stew sit overnight in fridge to let the flavors develop.
Serves 6 to 8 people.