Lamb Stew Provencal & Roasted Fennel Pods

For the holidays I got some great kitchen loot. My sister gave me some nice tableware from Japan and two beautiful placemats she bought recently in Nigeria, Liz gave me some really cool wooden bowls from her trip Costa Rica, and from my mother and brother I got two cookbooks, one a general cookbook with some of everything and the other dedicated to the art of the WOK! Needless to say, I'm excited.

This dish was from the the first cookbook, and it was incredibly tasty. I will definitely make it again, and if you like lamb I highly recommend it. I'm also a huge fan of fennel, so I picked up a unit of fennel. I roasted the bulbs with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and they were mellow and delicious. The fennel "leaves" I used as a garnish and also sprinkled in the salad. I realize there is probably a better word than "unit," so if you want to prove your culinary prowess before all readers of Kitchen Monkey, please let me know

The recipe I've altered somewhat. It can easily be halved to serve 3 people or two very hungry people. Otherwise it serves 5 or 6.


2 lbs. boneless lamb, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. + 1 tsp.; vegetable oil
3 medium onions
2 red peppers
1 tsp. salt
4 garlic cloves
2 (14 oz.) cans of imported plum tomatoes
1/4 tsp. dried thyme or 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
1/4 tsp. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 strips orange peel, 1/2 inch wide, 3 inches long
1/4 cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces

1) preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) salt cubes of lamb
3) sear lamb in 3 tsp. olive oil in a large dutch oven (if you don't have one, you can do the searing and sauteeing steps in a large sautee pan and then transfer everything to a casserole for the baking)
4) To lamb drippings add 1 tbsp oil, onions, peppers, and salt. Sautee, stirring, for about 15-20 minutes until very soft
5) Add garlic and sautee for 1 minute more
6) Add tomatoes with juice, stir to break up
7) Add thyme, fennel, pepper, orange peels, and lamb. Bring to boil
8) Place dutch oven (or casserole) in your oven for 1 hour at 350, then turn down to 250 and bake for another hour
9) to serve, sprinkle with basil.

10) If you wish, clean and quarter the bulbs, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake in a shallow pan in the oven for the last hour and a quarter (or so).


head of the table said...

I believe that's a bulb matthew.

Kitchen Monkey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kitchen Monkey said...

What is a "bulb matthew"?

In any case, Kitchen Monkey was aware, as you can see from the post, that the lower half was called a bulb, but the term "bulb", however much fun it is to say, seemed insufficient when talking about the entire plant. I know! How about "fennel plant"? Maybe not. I think I'll just keep saying unit.

Kitchen Monkey said...

Oh, and another thing. I just had for lunch a bit of the leftover stew folded into some flat bread with boston lettuce, calamata olives, and feta cheese. It was delicious!