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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Turmeric Lamb Stew Under Pressure


Sometimes my favourite recipes are the result of a mistake (or what I like to call, a happy accident), an empty pantry or when Shack, mistakenly, turns our small freezer off overnight and when I check it in the morning, a bunch of stuff has thawed out.



Since this is what happened this time, it meant that I was left with a whack of lamb, one pork chop, a hunk of peameal bacon and a bag of chicken stock that had to be cooked in order to put them back in the freezer. I threw the pork and a little lamb rack in the sous vide and was about to bag up the little lamb roasts when I decided to turn that into a nice stew to freeze in individual servings for The Kid's lunches. Yes, I know. My kid takes lamb stew in his lunch, so sue me.

This stew is a mish mash of different Middle Eastern flavour profiles that I like. Persians love turmeric, the current wonder spice,  the red pepper paste is Turkish and preserved lemon is most commonly used in Moroccan cuisine so this is not any sort of authentic dish that I can peg in that way except to say that it's Middle Easternish and because its cooked in a pressure cooker, it's also delicious, easy and fast.

Normally, this type of dish would require at least a couple of hours of simmering, stovetop. With a pressure cooker, it only takes about 10 minutes to come to pressure after all the browning and sauteeing and then with the 35 minutes of cook time, it's going to go from the first chop of onion to your dinner table in just under an hour.

I used my Breville Go Pro Slow to make this but it would work in any other cooker like an Instant Pot


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Pressure Cooked Turmeric Lamb Stew

makes about 4-6 servings

2 lbs lamb, cut into 1.5" cubes (boneless shoulder works well)
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbls turmeric
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chili flake
2 tbls olive oil
2 small onions, diced
5 or 6 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 small preserved lemon or 1 if they are very large, rind only, chopped
1.5 cups of chicken stock
3 tbls tomato paste
2 tbls Turkish red pepper paste (mild or spicy is up to you)
3 tbls tomato paste
2 or 3 potatoes, peeled and diced in 1" chunks

Fresh cilantro

Preheat your pressure cooker using the saute function until it says that it is hot. Now, add in 1 tbls of olive oil , salt the lamb with 2 tsp of kosher salt and start browning the meat in batches. Don't crowd the pot or it will steam and as each batch is browned nicely, remove to a bowl, continue to brown until it's all done and set aside.

Into the pot, add the other tbls of olive oil and throw in the onions and garlic and saute until they are soft and start to brown. Now add the meat back in, along with any juices that have accumulated, sprinkle the turmeric, black pepper, salt and chili flake over the top and mix it in. Now add in the preserved lemon and the chicken stock, lock the lid on and program your machine for 30 minutes, either using the manual setting on high pressure or the stew setting.

When the time is up, release the pressure using a quick release, open the pot up, stir in the tomato paste and the red pepper paste as well as the potatoes, lock the lid back on, close the pressure valve and program it for 5 more minutes on high pressure and when the time is up, quick release, open the lid and serve with lots of fresh, chopped cilantro, either on it's own or over basmati rice.