Braised Lamb With Peas and Asparagus

We were lucky enough to get an amazing early wedding gift: a beautiful cast-iron Dutch oven. Combined with the fresh asparagus we got from our trip to Indian Ladder Farms and the rainy weather, the condittions were perfect for a recipe I've wanted to try for a while: braised lamb with asparagus and peas from Amanda Hesser's invaluable The Cook and the Gardener. It's a keeper.

I think I can say, without violating copyright laws, that it follows a classic preparation: brown the meet in batches, briefly saute onion and carrot, add flour to make a quasi-roux, add white wine and a bouquet garni, and then braise the lamb in an hour in beef stock. Near the end, add peas and blanched asparagus, and then garlic and parsley.

The end product was fantastic, very rich and deep flavor. It would require using more liquid, but I think white beans could be a nice addition too. Anyway, it's always nice to find something good to add to the repertoire -- a great way to break in our new cookware!


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