A rib-sticking winter warmer: sherry stewed lamb stroganoff
I don’t get to eat lamb very often. My mom couldn’t stomach the taste or smell of it so when we were growing up, she’d only concede to roasting a leg of lamb (which she herself wouldn’t eat) once every couple of years.
Unfortunately, my husband’s also not very keen on lamb. He will eat lamb if we’re served it at a mate’s house but he’d never choose to order or make it himself. Therefore, getting a chance to cook or eat lamb at home is a real treat!
However, at this time of year, lamb can sometimes be much stronger in flavour, and when that’s the case, I turn to this sherry stewed lamb recipe, which I first learnt to make when I was a student in Australia, with my only tweak being the addition of sherry (a recurring theme of mine which you’ll probably have noticed if you’re a regular reader of my recipes, teehee.). Back then, one of my Uni mate’s parents owned a vineyard and cattle farm, and it was her mum that taught us this simple dish to see us through the winter months at college.
Not only does it use a really cheap cut of lamb – lamb shoulder – but given that it’s a stew, it’s actually ready in about 45 minutes. The trick to getting super soft meat in such a short stewing time is just to ensure you remove any sinew or fat and slice them into very thin strips. The end result after the cooking process is beautifully tender, melt-in-your-mouth pieces of lamb.
The hardest thing about posting this recipe is that it was really difficult to photograph the end result – the creamy sauce hid the lamb and made it look more like a curry but it’s not, I promise!
What I love about this dish is that the flavour of the sherry really does come through the cooking process beautifully. It always reminds me of my mum because she loves marinating meat in alcohol, something I now always do too :).
This is a real rib-sticker of a dish, which is why it’s perfect in winter. To cut through the richness, I always serve it with plain steamed white/brown rice and crisp green vegetables, like spring greens, curly kale or cavolo nero, quickly boiled for no more than 3 minutes in salted water.
If you like beef stroganoff, I hope you’ll like this dish. Enjoy.
Sherry stewed lamb stroganoff (serves 4)
Preparing the lamb
400 grams lamb shoulder cubes, fat and sinew removed and sliced as thinly as possible or into thin strips
50-60 ml dry sherry (vermouth would work too)
1 heaped teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon tomato purée
Put all of these ingredients in a bowl with the lamb, stir it well and leave it aside while you prepare your vegetables.
For the stew
1 large onion, peeled, quartered and sliced
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large stick of celery, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 – 4 large chestnut/button mushrooms, halved then sliced
1 bay leave
150 grams sour cream
50 grams plain yoghurt
1 cup water
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives
The cooking process
In a large saucepan over a medium to low heat, heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil and add your onions, carrots and celery. Stirring occasionally, cook these for 5 minutes and then add your chopped garlic, bay leaf and mushrooms, cooking everything for another 2 minutes.
Turn the heat up to full and add your marinated lamb and the marinading liquor. The lamb will release quite a lot of liquid so leave your heat on high and allow the lamb to fry, stirring occasionally . This will take between 7-10minutes before most of the liquid has been cooked off.
At this stage, add your yoghurt, sour cream, water and black pepper and bring this up to boil before turning the heat down to a medium simmer. Simmer your lamb uncovered for anywhere between 20-30 minutes and season to taste.
When you’re ready to serve, add your chopped parsley and chives, stir into the sauce and serve with plain rice and freshly cooked greens.
Lots of love