This hearty stew is a unique take on stew using traditional methods. The preparation is similar to beef stew, but the tomatoey broth and chunks of squash make it a unique flavor. The local lamb – courtesy of Good Life Farm’s CSA+ is perfect. Be sure to use lamb shoulder or lamb stew meat for the long braise in this dish. Week 22 of our CSA includes lovely delicata squash, which can easily be peeled for this. Any winter squash will work including butternut or even acorn.
The onions and carrots are roughly chopped and braised with the tomatoes and lamb. The squash is cut a little smaller, and added at the end of cooking so it doesn’t fall apart.
Lay the herbs on top of the stew, and basically forget about for 2 hours. While it’s cooking prep the squash. Delicata are a little harder to peel, but a y-shaped peeler works great for them.
Mix the delicata into the stew and return it to the oven until it cooks through (about 20 minutes). I discarded the herbs just before stirring everything so they didn’t get lost in the mixture.
Winter Squash & Lamb Stewadapted from Food52
1 winter squash like delicata or butternut peeled and cut into a 1 inch dice
1 lb lamb stew meat or lamb shoulder cut into one inch cubes
3 -4 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
28 oz can peeled whole tomatoes in sauce
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups beef stock
few sprigs of thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the lamb with salt, and when the oil is hot brown half of the cubes on all sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Reduce heat to medium low and add the onions, and carrots. Cook for 3 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften then add the garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes. Add the tomatoes and use a spoon to break them into chunks, then add the stock, herbs and the browned lamb, along with any juices that have accumulated. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to get up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. When the stew comes to a boil, cover the pot and put it in the oven. Cook until the lamb is just tender, 2 to 3 hours. Stir the squash into the stew, re-cover it and return the pot to the oven until the squash is tender, another 20 to 25 minutes.