Friday, August 17, 2012

A "Lamb" Down Under

Ok so this post has nothing to do with Australia or the land down under. But I thought it was a funny play on words. Ok, maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm delusional today. Who knows. Work is getting to me, causing my brain to have issues with what is actually funny and what isn't. Oh well *continues to eat her combos*

Anyway, what we are really here for is the lamb stew/soup that Mike and I prepared Sunday and have been eating ever since - it made A LOT of stew/soup.

This month has been kind of messed up and his schedule is kind of off so we enjoy what we can. A nice relaxing weekend with him last weekend was just what the doctor ordered. This weekend, it's with family. He has to work - so I guess it's packed lunches and random assortment of dinners for him - we shall see what he sends me through the weekend.

So Saturday we decided this was what we were making and so we went to the only place in town that sells lamb and picked up a few packages of stew bones and steaks. We also grabbed some celery, carrots, snow peas, red onion, mushrooms, and beef stock.

I actually did all the veggie chopping, minus onion and garlic. Which is unusual since Mike usually has the better knife skills. I'm not as fast or precise but as you can see my veggies look pretty good, if I do say so myself *brushes off shoulders with a smug grin*. He is gets the onion honors because onions don't bother him while he chops them up where as Roomie and I cry like little babies. It's bad. I walked by while he was chopping up the onion and my eyes started watering. Yeah, it's that bad for me. He also did the garlic. I can't seem to get that down, the garlic all sticks to my knife and then I get frustrated with it and just kind of chop at nothing.

We both did the unthinkable too while cooking. We both were injured this weekend with bizarre knife injuries. I was cutting cheese on Saturday night for a snack and my finger slipped down the back of the knife toward the tip - was only using a steak knife - so my right middle finger had a nice little slit in it all weekend. Mike was using the Japanese Vegetable knife, which he soon became fed up with and sent home with me. He was chopping the onion and then he noticed blood on the back of the knife. He just said "what?" He evidently cut his finger on the back of the knife. Come to find the back of that knife is sharp enough to cut you if you do it right - much like he did. I think his was his right index or left. I can't remember honestly. I'm sure I'll get a text after this post is published and enlightened to which hand was injured ;)

So despite injury we made it through. After chopping up veggies, oh and red potatoes (not peeled) into little bites size chunks we added the veggies (not potatoes) to the roux we had made from flour and the lamb fat at the bottom of the pan. We then cooked those down till the onions were almost translucent. Then we added about 48 oz beef stock, lamb, potatoes, peas and mushrooms. (since mushrooms don't take long to cook). It was seasoned with Greek seasoning, salt, pepper, cayenne, rosemary, bay leaf and probably a few other things I didn't see. We figured after trying it it was still lacking something...just couldn't figured out what it was. Mike decided that next time we should definitely use Italian seasoning and salt and pepper instead. It was just slightly off. Also, we decided that frozen peas would have been a much better choice than the snow peas. The snow peas just became unpalatable, at least to me. I ended up picking them out Tuesday when I ate stew for lunch.

All in all it was good, a hearty meal which we served with a cheese roll that we picked up at Walmart - go get some. They are absolutely delicious.

Make a stew, it's not hard. Pick a meat of your choice, add veggies that pair well (most any), make a roux with the meat fat or oil and water (look it up online or get a The Great Big Book of Cooking like Mike did.) Then add stock of choosing and simmer until delicious and thick. YUM! Experiment too, add cream, add spices and other combinations of meat. Try anything. Experiment.

So allez cuisine mes amis!

Go out and cook!