Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Lavender lamb stew


3 tablespoons Lavender Jam/2
  teaspoons dried lavender, 2 onions, 3 stalks of rosemary, 900g lamb, 2 carrots, 2 sweet potatoes, salt, 1 pint beef/lamb/venison stock, red wine, butter/rosemary oil, Worcestershire sauce. 
Serves: 6 Preparation: 2 hours

My favourite ingredient is lavender. It has an incredible flavour and scent, medicinal properties and is perfectly partnered with rosemary which makes this stew sinfully rich and fragrant. You can use my Lavender Jam to caramelise the onions which gives this stew that wonderful dark French Onion glaze and hint of sweetness, or keep it savoury and make your own lavender essence to add to the stock.

1) Peel and dice your onions and add to a stock pot with 2 tablespoons of butter or rosemary oil. As the onions begin to soften, crush 4 or 5 cloves of garlic into the pan along with the rosemary stalks (chopped finely) and stir through.

2) At this stage add the lavender jam and caramelise the onions if you're taking this approach. If not, peel and dice the sweet potatoes and carrots as the onions and garlic begin to soften, then set aside.

3) Add the chunks of lamb and stir through until the meat begins to colour then add 1/3 of a bottle of red wine and stir through. Allow to simmer on a low heat.

4) If you are not using lavender jam, infuse the beef stock with the dried lavender by simmering on a low heat in a separate pan for about 10 minutes. Strain the stock through a sieve into the stock pot and discard the lavender.

5) Add the carrots and sweet potato and stir through. Leave on the hob for at least 30 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce and the carrot and potatoes to soften. Taste the sauce and season according to taste with salt, pepper and worcestershire sauce.

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