Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lamb and Carrots Stew

I made lamb stew on last Friday night. My dad often cooked lamb stew in the winter when I was growing up (thanks Dad for the recipe!). In my own version, I added some western ingredients such as shallot and rosemary.

Food has the nature of  Yin (阴) and Yang (阳) in Chinese culture. Yang foods are believed to increase the body's heat, while Yin foods are believed to decrease the body's heat. In the winter, people have more Yang foods to help blood circulation. Lamb is therefore a popular dish in the cold season. 

This lamb stew combines the savoriness of lamb and the sweetness from the carrots. It is the perfect stew on a winter day.

Lamb and Carrots Stew

Ingredients (serves 2-4)
- 1 lb of lamb leg meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 carrots

- 1 shallots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup of chopped tomato
- 1 tbsp of ginger, roughly sliced
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 anise star
- 1 tbsp of dry rosemary
- 1 tsp of fennel seeds
- 1 tbsp of fresh parsley (optional)

- 1 tbsp of raw brown sugar
- 4 cubes of crystal sugar
- 5 tbsp of dark soy sauce (老抽)
- 2 tbsp of light soy sauce or all purpose soy sauce
- 2 tbsp of cooking wine
- 1 tsp of salt

* Dark soy sauce is sweeter and richer than light soy sauce. 
** You can use granulated sugar to replace brown sugar and crystal sugar.
*** I used Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing rice wine). You can also use white wine or sherry wine.

- In a medium pot, drizzle canola oil on the pan for high heat. Add shallots, stir for about 30 secs.
- Add lamb, ginger and garlic. Sear the meat till lightly brown.
- Add cooking wine and carrots, stir fry for about 2 mins.
- Add sugar, soy sauce, all the dry ingredients (rosemary, fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, anise star) and 1 cup of water, cook on high heat till boil.
- Cover the pot with lid and simmer for 40 mins.
- Remove the lid, add salt and parsley, cook on high heat for 5 mins. 

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