|Lamb Stew With Dill
2 pounds boneless lamb from shoulder, cut into roughly 1 1/2-inch chunks
8 shallots, peeled
8 to 12 very small new potatoes, washed
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, peeled and diced into roughly pea-size bits (optional)
1 cup green peas (frozen are all right)
8 scallions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch sections (optional)
1/2 cup snipped dill leaves, or more to taste
Put lamb in a broad skillet over high heat; let sear, undisturbed, about 2 minutes, or until underside is nicely browned. Stir, and add shallots and potatoes. Cook a couple of minutes longer, and add salt, pepper and a cup of water. Stir, scraping bottom if necessary, to loosen any meat bits that are sticking. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer about 45 minutes, stirring once or twice.
Uncover and add carrots if you are using them; stir once, re-cover and let simmer about 15 minutes more, or until lamb and potatoes are tender.
Uncover, and add peas and scallions. Raise heat if necessary to boil away excess liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning; serve garnished with dill and accompanied by a lemon wedge.
Variations: Like any stew, this one is easy to vary. Root vegetables like turnips or parsnips, peeled and cut into one-inch cubes, can be thrown into the mix; whole unpeeled garlic cloves are also great. In place of the lemon juice, you could add a couple of tablespoons of good vinegar during the last minute or two of cooking. A few slices of ginger and a cinnamon stick (or a teaspoon or so of ground spices) will give the stew a decidedly eastern Mediterranean feel. If you really want a change, while the lamb is browning, sprinkle it with curry powder and a bit of cayenne; finish the dish with cilantro. Yield 4 servings. Time 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Source: The New York Times