Lamb Stew: Or as some people call it–Lamb Daube

It’s winter.  Even in Los Angeles the evenings and mornings have a crisp chill to them.  So that means one thing to my brain–stew.  And for this posting, lamb stew or as the French call it Daube.

This recipe is an amalgam of many recipes that I’ve read, cooked and constantly revise.  It changes a bit from time to time, but at its heart its the same–lamb, artichokes, black olives and orange zest.  To me this recipe encapsulates the heart of Mediterranean flavors.  The  orange zest really adds a totally different dimension and the heart to the dish.  The use of white wine instead of red lightens the stew up, yet still provides the heartiness that I crave in a wintry dish.

The secret to converting non lamb lovers to converts is to really get rid of as much fat as possible.  It’s the fat and bone marrow that gives lamb its gaminess.  If your loved ones don’t like lamb beef can be used instead.

I don’t stand on ceremony as to what noodle or pasta to use, yet the Jersey girl in me always craves egg noodles with lots of butter when it’s cold.  Embrace your inner tyrant.

LAMB STEW OR LAMB DAUBE WITH ORANGE

  • 2 lbs lamb cubed  (It’s fine to use a lesser cut of meat like leg, shank or rib meat because this is going to cook for a while.)
  • Flour for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large red onion cut in half inch pieces
  • 1 head of garlic (yes the whole thing) peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes depending on your preference for heat
  • 2 cups dry white white
  • 4 Roma tomatoes chopped or 1 can Italian tomatoes drained and coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 cups beef or vegetable broth (might need more if stew cooks too fast)
  • Zest of two oranges plus one orange sectioned.
  • 1 12 0z. bag of Trader Joe’s frozen artichoke hearts (fantastic price and great quality)
  • 12-16 black pitted olives halved
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 bag egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons butter for noodles
  1. Cut lamb into 1 inch cubes.  Salt and pepper. Dredge lamb in flour
  2. Heat large stew pot for 2 minutes on high heat.  Add oil.  Heat for half a minute.
  3. Add lamb to pot in one level.  After about 2 minutes turn pieces of lamb to brown on all sides. It is important to make sure the lamb pieces get a rich caramel color on all sides because this really enhances the flavor of the stew.  If necessary do the browning in two batches.
  4. Add onion, garlic and red pepper to the meat.  Cook for about 1 minute, stirring, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen the meat.
  5. Add the white wine.  Stir. Make sure you scrape all the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pot.  These pieces really add flavor.  Cook for about 1 minute on high to bring to a boil.
  6. Add broth, bring to boil.  Add orange zest and sections. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes on medium low heat.
  7. Add tomatoes, carrots, black olives, and frozen artichoke heart.  Cook for another half hour.  If the sauce seems too thick add more broth.
  8. Check your seasoning add salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Boil egg noodles or rice.
  10. Serve finished stew over noodles, pasta or rice.
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