Monday, September 2, 2013

Crockpot Lamb Stew

September is here. Isn't that weird? Time flies when you're having fun.

I'm not too mad about September being here. I love the Fall! Fall foods, fall activities, crisp weather. Plus, I feel like I jam-packed my summer with lots of activities--I'm ready to slow it down for a few months before the Holiday season hits.

Speaking of slow, I think it's time we get back into the slow cooking spirit. Let's rev up our Crockpots for some delicious Lamb Stew.

This recipe is hearty and healthy and bursting with flavor. I've combined carrots, turnips, celery, and onions with chunks of lamb shoulder and rosemary. Everything cooks low and slow while you're at work, and when you come home, you're house will smell AMAZING and dinner will be on the table in no time!

How do you guys feel about turnips? I've never even thought about trying them. I just assumed I didn't like them. Recently, however, I've had a change of heart. I love replacing potatoes with turnips in slow cooked stews (see also: Homestyle Beef Stew). They are a little bitter but become more delicious the longer they cook. And they hold up very well in the slow cooker, which is a critical part of creating a good Crockpot meal. Of course, if you don't like turnips - diced potatoes will work beautifully.

I also strongly recommend getting up a little earlier and browning your lamb chunks in a skillet before tossing them in the Crockpot. The depth of flavor that comes from a quick sear is not worth sacrificing for a few extra minutes of shut eye!

To keep your morning effort minimal, try chopping up all your vegetables the night before and storing in an airtight container. Also, if necessary, butcher your lamb shoulder the night before as well.

I served this lamb stew over big egg noodles. The whole meal with keep you feeling full and satisfied. Take a time out from this busy life of ours and curl up on the couch with a bowl of warm, rustic stew.

Here's what you need for Crockpot Lamb Stew (Print Recipe!)

1.5-2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into stew-sized chunks
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium vidalia onion, cut into large chunk
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 small or medium turnips, for about 1 cup chopped
3.5 cups chicken stock (I highly recommend stock over broth for this stew!)
1 sprig rosemary, plus more for seasoning
1 sprig thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cooked egg noodles, for serving

Here's what you do

Dredge the lamb in the flour and shake off the excess. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Sear the lamb on all sides to brown (don't cook the lamb through).

Add the lamb, onions, carrots, celery, and turnips to your Crockpot or slow cooker. Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables, and stir to combine. Place the sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top. Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours or HIGH 3 to 4 hours.

Remove the sprigs of herbs and stir in additional chopped rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Serve in big bowls over egg noodles. Stew will keep leftover in the fridge for 3 days.

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