Thursday, February 25, 2010

Braised Lamb with Butternut Squash

Actual Wednesday Menu – Braised Lamb with Butternut Squash, Rice

DELICIOUS! This one gets high praise. YUM! I’ve been saving up my last bag of Butternut Squash frozen from CSA season for this one for awhile now, and as you can see it was well worth it. I will provide the link to the recipe I followed, but I’m going to write it below the way I made it and with any changes I’d make for next time. The biggest difference will be that I’m leaving out the gremolata (parsley, lemon zest, garlic). I didn’t think the dish needed it, but I do see the value in a little citrus flavor as garnish. I’m thinking of using a lemony cilantro pesto recipe from my favorite Butternut Squash soup as the garnish for this dish in the future.

What happened to Tuesday you may be asking? Tuesday became a mixed up day and I managed to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids for dinner.

Braised Lamb with Butternut Squash
Adapted from

4 T olive oil, divided
2-4 pieces of lamb shoulder
Salt and pepper
Entire head of garlic gloves, peeled
4-6 celery ribs, coarsely chopped (keep them big, I recommend picking them out later)
4 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 6oz. can of tomato paste
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 strips of orange zest
3 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 15oz. can cannellini beans

Heat 2 T olive oil in Dutch oven. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, add them to the pot and brown, 4 minutes per side. Transfer the lamb to a plate.

Arrange the racks in the oven to accommodate the Dutch oven and a baking dish for the squash. Preheat the oven to 350. Add the garlic, celery, carrots, and onion to the Dutch oven. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato past and cook stirring, about 2 minutes. Add the wine; boil over high heat until the liquid is syrupy, from 7-15 minutes.

Return the lamb to the pot; add the stock and zest. Bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and braise in the oven for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.

In a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 T olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake in the oven for about an hour, or until tender.

Remove the pot from the oven. Cool slightly. Remove the lamb and celery from the stew; reserve the lamb and discard the celery. Puree the remaining ingredients with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender. If the mixture remains chunky with the immersion blender it will add nicely to the texture of the dish.

Return the lamb to the pot. Add cannellini beans and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until warmed through. Serve with the squash stirred in or on the side. Make sure to have at least one bite with lamb, and sauce, and squash all together. DELICIOUS!

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