Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lamb, Sausage, Chickpea Stew

I'm starting a new book that will take place in the region of Albania. In my research I've found foods that are a fantastic blend of the regions rich crossroads history. Lamb and chickpeas are a staple in the area. I stumbled across a recipe for a lamb and Chickpea stew. Since I couldn't find Albanian sausage, I used Italian, Portuguese would also work well. Any savory sausage will work.

1/2 lb of Italian Sausage
1lb of lamb meat, cubed
1 ham hock
3 Celery stocks-sliced
1 Red onion-diced
1/2 Green pepper (diced)
6 Garlic gloves or the whole garlic for more flavor
1 Yam, peeled and cubed.
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 Cans of Chicken stock or Veggie stock
Seasoned flour for dredging lamb
1/2 tbs of garlic powder
1/4 tsp Cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp Paprika (Smoked)
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Garam Marsala
Tie together in a bundle sprigs, of rosemary, thyme & tarragon.
2 Cans of Chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Dredge lamb in flour and brown. Remove and place in slower cooker or pot. Cook onion and garlic in the same pan, until onion is clear. Add to lamb. Brown sausage, add to pot. Add all other ingredients. Saving Chickpeas to add the last hour. Deglaze pan with some of the broth and add to pot.

I cooked my stew in a slower cooker, for 5 hours, adding the chickpeas last. If cooking on a stove, I'd simmer for at least 2 hours to really release the flavors. If you're on a diet, this is not a low fat stew, because of the meats. I trimmed fat from the lamb. The original recipe called for a lamb shoulder. That can be fatty, so I opted for leaner lamb. I found it in a local grocery store. Severed the next day, it's even better. I thickened the broth with flour before serving.

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