Thursday, March 23, 2006

Latest and Greatest - Part 5

Here we go, as promised and last but not least - the first great new recipe I cooked in 2006.

I made this for a dinner party with friends just after the holidays, and although it took some planning and cooking ahead of time, it was worth it. I served the stew with basmati rice, cooked in chicken broth with a cinnamon stick and a bay leaf, as well as some grillled pita breads that Brad made. Both us and the guests gobbled this one up and I loved it just as much the next day. Hurry up and make this recipe, because spring is almost here and this a very cozy dish.!

Lebanese Lamb and Bean Stew
*From Gourmet Magazine, adapted from George's Downtown Cafe and Diner

Serves 8.
Active time: 45 minutes Start to Finish: 10.5 hours (includes soaking beans)

1 lb dried navy beans, picked over and rinsed
1lb boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1.5" cubes
1 cinnamon stick
9 cups water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoons black pepper
3 tabelspoons tomato paste
fresh, chopped parsley, paprika and lemon wedges for serving

1. Cover beans with cold water by 3" and let soak at room temperature at least 8 hours. Drain well.

2. Bring lamb, cinnamon and water to a boil in a 6-8qt heavy pot, then vigorously simmer, covered, until meat is tender. (1.25-1.5hrs). Add beans and cook, uncovered, until beans are tender, about 1 hour more.

3. Meanwhile, over moderate heat, heat oil in a large skillet until hot but not smoking, then cook onions, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring until onions are pale golden and tender (8-10 minutes). Stir in tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

4. When beans are tender, stir in tomato-onion mixture and simmer until just heated through (about 5 minutes). Stir in remaining 1.5 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

*This stew can be made up to 3 days in advance. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill in an airtight container. Reheat in 5-6qt pot over low heat until warmed through.

Serve, garnished with chopped parsely and paprika, with a wedge of lemon. ENJOY!!!

Stay tuned readers, I promise to post again very soon with moving and new apartment updates. Things are just a bit hectic here in Brooklyn these days!

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