Down East 2013 ©
I made this stew — a combination of Asian and European flavors — using lamb stew meat, but you could easily substitute chicken or beef. Serve this rich, flavorful stew — with spices from around the world — over cous cous, rice, or noodles. Like most stews it can easily be made a day ahead of time; refrigerate overnight, remove any layer of fat on top and reheat over low until simmering.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
About 1 cup flour, plus 1 1/2 tablespoons
3 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes
About 1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups baby spinach
Optional condiments: unsweetened shredded coconut, raisins, chopped cashews or almonds, chopped fresh cilantro, and mango chutney
In a large pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, or until a pale golden brown. Remove the onions from the pot and place on the side.
On a large plate mix the 1 cup of flour with salt and pepper. Gently dredge the lamb pieces in the seasoned flour until well coated.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Brown the seasoned lamb pieces, working with several pieces at a time but being careful not to crowd the pot, until rich golden brown on both sides. Remove to a plate and continue with the remaining meat. Sprinkle the turmeric, curry, thyme, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne on the meat, add the remaining meat and stir well to coat all the meat pieces with all the spices. Add the curry paste and tomato paste and stir well. Add the 1 ½ tablespoons flour and stir well; let cook 1 minute. Raise the heat to high and add the wine and then the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to very low, add the browned onions, and let cook 20 minutes. Add the coconut milk and half the spinach and cook another hour, or until the meat is tender and the sauce is flavorful and slightly thickened. Add more salt, pepper or curry paste as needed.
Just before serving add the remaining spinach leaves and heat until they just wilt. Serve the stew boiling hot over rice, cous cous, or noodles. Place the suggested condiments in small bowls and let everyone add a sprinkle of each on top of their stew.