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Adventures in Home Cooking 2

Lamb and Beef Stew

Today was Purim, which requires (among other things) a festive meal called a “seudah.” It also just happens to be our 18th wedding anniversary, which also calls for a festive meal.

Because the events in the book of Esther occurred in Persia, I thought a lamb stew would be appropriate. Also, I love lamb stew. But my supermarket didn’t have lamb stew meat. It had brisket, lamb chops, half-racks of lamb and lamb shank, but no stew. So, I got the lamb shanks and a small package of beef stew meat.

I browned the meat in a little bit of oil – first the lamb, then the beef because I wanted the beef to pick up the lamb taste, then browned onion and celery. I put the lamb and beef back in the pot and added small cuts of two sweet potatoes and one turnip. My mother-in-law is very low carb, and anyway, lamb and turnip go together. I added three peeled cloves of garlic, some pepper, and bay leaf, and then poured in some white wine. I brought it to a boil and…turned it off or something. I don’t know. But sometime later, the pot was cool.

I brought it back to the boil and put it into a 450° oven. My big worry was that the lamb wouldn’t be tender by dinner time.

It was. I shredded the meat off the bones – it all but fell off. And it was all just delicious. I served it over tri-color couscous, just for the pretty, and a green salad with red onions and avocado. I made a vinaigrette of very good olive oil, white wine vinegar, some mustard powder, very fine garlic powder and salt and pepper. Just nice. One of our guests brought dessert – cookies and a gooey chocolate cake, and I had raspberries and blueberries so even my mother-in-law could have dessert. The rest of us had berries over our slender slices of cake. We served a semi-dry red with the meal, too.

Very nice, indeed.

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