In My Kitchen

Beans from the garden

Lamb Shank

Stew start

Frozen broth

I’m posting along with Heather over at Beauty that Moves. Have a read and then pop on over to see more at her site!

This week, we’ve had a bit of garden bounty and a whole lot of family bounty. My sister and her husband spent a few days with us and we got to share meals together, which is really one of the best things about having house guests. It wasn’t particularly warm, so I made some stew!

My relationship with stew has developed slowly over the years. I love eating it and am learning to detach myself from recipes and follow my gut a bit more. This time, my goal was to use what was in the house to avoid an extra grocery store trip. We had some lamb shank in the freezer, veggies in the fridge, and beans in the garden. It all came out just right! I seasoned the lamb with salt, pepper, and what I refer to as the mysterious Turkish pepper. A friend of mine gave me some of her stash a few years ago and it’s great in anything. When it runs out, there will be a minor panic unless I remember to go to the Turkish store and ask what it’s called first.

I browned the lamb a bit and then took it out. Then I sauteed onions for a very long time, tossed in some garlic and then veggies (carrot, celery, and red pepper). While that was cooking up, I went outside to select some herbs. We went for sage and oregano using a mystical process I like to refer to as “which of these herbs most urgently needs a haircut?” We’re eating a lot of sage just now as it’s growing like crazy. Then added a couple cans of tomato, a good glug of red wine (it’s the perfect way to get the last of the tomato out of the can, no?), and broth. That big slab of ice in my stew? That’s how I store my broth. After it’s cooked and cooled, I put it into a one liter freezer bag and let it freeze flat. If I remember to put something on top of it when it’s freezing, I get a nice flat package that’s easy to store library book style in my freezer. I rely on my frozen broth and love it, too!

Our stew was delicious. Of course, I have no pictures of the finished product because we’d moved on from slow cooking early in the day to urgent setting and serving at the end of the day when two littles are ready to eat right away. It was good stew. I added the beans at the end and they had a good crunch when we ate them. It could have been a bit thicker, but otherwise, yum. As an extra bonus, I’ve got two freezer containers of leftovers. One will probably get some potatoes to when we warm it up. The other will get a bit more broth or water, alphabet pasta, and a bit of extra seasoning for transformation into a soup! Freezers are grand.

Let me know how things are going in your kitchen, then click that link and go see more kitchens at Beauty that Moves.

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