Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Agneau au safron et almondes or He's home! He's home!

The Boy came home today and there was much rejoicing. We finished the Jarret de veau for lunch and then went shopping for dinner before my acting class. He had specially requested no fish or pigeon (both of which he apparently ate a ton of in China) and said what he missed most was stew. So, knowing that he loves and is slightly in awe of saffron and since I've been craving Middle-Eastern inspired food lately, I decided to make him a lamb stew with saffron and toasted almonds, influenced by a recipe for goat I found on Chef 2 Chef.

Agneau au safron et almondes
Adapted from Chef 2 Chef

1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 sliced blanched Almonds
1 pinch Saffron powder
2 thick slices Pancetta, diced
700 grams Lamb, cubed
1 Onion, finely chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
3 plum Tomatoes, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
3 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths

Heat Butter in a pan and saute Almonds in it over medium heat until lightly browned. Set aside in bowl, add Saffron and mix with your hands once Almonds are cool enough to handle.

Without cleaning the pan, saute Pancetta over medium heat until lightly cooked, then transfer to a pot. Brown Lamb (in as many batches as necessary so as not to crowd the pan), then add to the Pancetta. Still not cleaning the pan, saute the Onion until golden, then add Garlic, Tomatoes, Almond-Saffron mixture, Oregano and Bay leaf and Salt and Pepper to taste. Add everything to the pot with Lamb and Pancetta and mix. Put the pot over high heat and add just enough Water to cover the mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and partly cover the pot. Simmer for 1 hour. Add Potatoes, pushing them as much under the meat as possible, and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Serve once the potatoes are ready.

Serves 3.

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