Monday, January 06, 2014

Lamb and Puy lentils

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January 6th - or today - is the last day to wish happy new year here in Estonia, so I'm just in time - Happy New Year, dear readers of Nami-Nami near and far! Wish you all a peaceful and productive year, full of delicious and nourishing food, with occasional treats and decadent moments!

We're in the middle of a very awkward winter here. While friends in the US and Canada are facing huge snowstorms, then we had a green and mild Christmas with temperatures hovering at around couple of degrees above zero (Celsius, that is). Most unusual and weird, though not unheard of. We're promised that the temperature drops towards the end of January and we'll get some snow as well, but I won't believe it until I see it. Still, hearty soups and stews are what we're cooking most at the moment - it is winter, after all - and this lamb with lentils was a great and promising start to the culinary year or 2014.

Oh, and as you can see, I'm now a proud owner of a beautiful red Staub Oval Cocotte - a Christmas present from my dear K (with special thanks to Tigu's Kristel for shipping one for me from Germany). I've already put this to good use.

Lamb with lentils
(Lammas läätsedega)
Serves four to six

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about a kilogram of lamb pieces (on the bone)
rapeseed or olive oil
2 large onions
5 large carrots
2 celery sticks
70 g (about 3 Tbsp) concentrated tomato paste
100 ml dry red wine or port
600-800 ml (about 2,5-3 cups) beef bouillon/stock
175 g green (Puy) lentils, rinsed and drained
fresh parsley and/or rosemary, chopped

You can finish cooking this dish on the stove top or in the oven. If you're going to cook it in the oven, then preheat the oven to 180 C/350 F.

Peel the onions and carrots. Chop onions finely, roughly chop the carrots and celery sticks.

Season the lamb pieces with salt. Heat oil in a heavy cooking pot/Dutch oven and brown the meat pieces on all sides. Put aside.

Add the onions to the pot, sauté for 5 minutes on a moderately low heat, stirring every now and then.

Add the carrots and celery, increase the heat a little and fry for another 5 minutes.

Add the concentrated tomato pureé, fry for a couple of minutes. Pour in the wine, reduce by half.

Now return the browned lamb into the pot again, fitting the meat snugly between the vegetables. Pour over enough beef stock to nearly cover the meat. Put the lid on and simmer on a low heat or in the oven for about 2 hours, until the meat is pretty soft.

Now remove the lid and add the lentils. If the dish looks too dry, add a little stock or hot water as well. Cover again and cook for another 45-60 minutes, until the lamb is soft and falling off the bones and the lentils are cooked.

Season to taste, scatter fresh parsley and/or rosemary on top and serve.

We ate this as this, but you could serve it with rice or crusty wholegrain bread, if you wish.

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10 comments:

Caterers in Indore said...

I never seen like that food its really imaging would like to taste it.

jose manuel said...

Your blog is very awesome and I can't wait to taste this delicious comida española, I will definitely try this in my home.

Thanks
Jose

tanita♥davis said...

Oh, pretty pot!!
I am really getting the hang of puy lentils and using them more - this looks like they kept their shape and really added to the dish.

Anonymous said...

Pott on muidugi kaunis, aga Puy läätsed on minu lemmikud :)

Anonymous said...

see eelmine oli minu kommentaar:)

Kristel(Tigu)

Pille said...

I know, Tanita, the pot's gorgeous! And yes, the Puy lentils held their shape beautifully - yet they were fully cooked!

Kristel - suur aitäh poti eest! Ma alguses plaanisin selliseid suuremaid pruune läätsi kasutada (teller-linzer), aga olid otsa saanud. Siis vaatasin Puy-läätsi ja otsustasin nende kasuks ja valik osutus hääks :)

jingyan liu said...

Hello, I ran into your blog when searching for good Estonian honey on the internet. I love your recipes and especially you are living in Tallinn, where I just moved over about 6 months ago. I hope I could learn more about Estonian cuisine through your blog. By the way, do you mind sharing with me where you can get fresh lamb with the bone? I cannot find it in Stockmann or Selver. Thanx!

Pille said...

jingyan liu - welcome to Tallinn and yes, hopefully my blog can help you with settling in and getting to know the Estonian cuisine! (And I wish I could learn how to make some Qinghai specialties from you ;)).

The fresh lamb on the bone was raised and packaged by Saaremaa Lihatööstus, about half a kilo in a package. I called their sales rep today and he said that Tondi Selver, Kadaka Selver, Solaris and Viimsi Co-Market would be the best bets. I bough mine from Viimsi (I live here).

PS Did you find the honey??

jingyan liu said...

Hey Pille, sorry for my late reply. I have been busy packing for my trip back to China for the Chinese New Year. Thank you very much for the lamb information. I will surely check it out when I come back to Tallinn in mid-March. As for the honey, I did find few Estonian brands like Saraamaa and several organic ones. I am not sure which, in your opinion,is the best mesi in Estonia but I still have time to try them all out:-) Thank you again and hope to read more recipes from you.

jingyan liu said...

Dear Pille, thank you so much for making such an effort to answer my question. I really appreciate your kindness. Sorry for my late reply as I have been busy getting ready for my upcoming trip back to China for the Chinese New Year. I will surely check out the lamb whnen I come back to Tallinn in mid-March. As for the honey, I have found few Estonian brands. All of them taste good but do you have your favirates? Again, thank you so much for your help and I am looking forward to reading more recipes from you. Enjoy winter!