Saturday, February 15, 2014

Lamb and Mushroom Stew with Crispy Parmesan Fingerling Potatoes

Nothing is more comforting on a cold winter's day than a rich meaty stew paired with hot, crispy potatoes. This lamb and mushroom stew with crispy fingerling potatoes certainly doesn't disappoint.
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Winter finally arrived in San Diego aaaaaaand has left again.
And by winter, I mean daytime temps of sixty two degrees. 
I know people in the rest of the country would hate me for saying this, but I'm seriously craving some cold weather.

I'd especially love the opportunity to be snowed in...a few days on the couch with my two loves sipping hot cocoa and watching Disney movies truly sounds luxurious to me.
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So if Mother Nature won't give me a true winter, I must create one for myself and nothing says cozy like a big bowl of beefy (lamby?) stew with crispy roasted potatoes.
Am I right?
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The stew is a traditional beef stew, only I used lamb because I absolutely love it. If lamb isn't your thang, use beef instead.
It's pretty basic and super simple to prep, the best part being that it simmers away on the stove for a couple of hours.
See, just enough time for hot cocoa and movie on the couch!
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The potatoes, oh these potatoes...they practically steal the show.
For spuds that are so tiny, they are serious powerhouses of flavor. That may or may not have to do with the bacon grease they are doused in. Or the garlic. Or the cheese.

If you want super crispy potatoes, the trick is to roast them in a hot oven. I prefer a delicate potato, so I went with fingerling this time. And they are just so cute!
Slice them in half and toss them in a bowl with some bacon grease, salt, and pepper. Throw them on a sheet pan to roast up perfectly in the oven.

If your looking for a comfy, cozy winter dish that is easy to make, but tastes ultra gourmet, this stew is for you!

Lamb and Mushroom Stew with Crispy Parmesan Fingerling Potatoes
serves 4

For the stew:
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices center cut bacon
1 lb lamb stew meat (or beef)
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 carrots, diced
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ cup sherry
2 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup frozen peas
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

In a large pot, add the olive oil and bacon over medium-high heat. When the bacon begins to crisp and brown, remove onto a paper towel to drain. Roughly chop bacon and set aside.
Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add to the pot and sear for 2-3 minutes per side, working in batches, taking care not to crowd the pan. Remove to a plate and set aside.
To the pot, add mushrooms, carrots, onion, and garlic. Saute until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Allow to cook for a few minutes while stirring. Stirring constantly, add the sherry and beef stock. Add bay leaves and rosemary. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
After two hours, remove meat from pot and shred. Remove bay leaves and rosemary sprigs. Return meat to the pot and add cream and peas. Cook for an additional 10 minutes.

For the potatoes:
1 lb fingerling potatoes, washed and scrubbed
2 Tbsp bacon grease, melted or olive oil
1 tsp Kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 425ยบ F. 
Slice potatoes in half and place in a large bowl. Add bacon grease, salt, and pepper. Toss well to coat.
Spread potatoes evenly on a sheet pan, being careful not to overlap.
Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir potatoes.
Place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and scoop potatoes back in the bowl. Add garlic, parmesan, and rosemary and toss well to coat.
Spread potatoes back onto baking sheet and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes.
Serve hot and crispy with a big bowl of stew.

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