Spring has sprung around here, which means two things…leftover lamb (from a traditional dinner that’s been passed down from my husband’s family) and temperamental weather. This year, a blustery day arrived at the same time I was scratching my head, trying to decide what to do with the leftover leg of lamb in the fridge. I found this recipe for slow-cooked Lamb and Lentil Stew, and decided that nothing sounded better than a slow-cooked stew simmering in the kitchen all day long. You could also make this stew using beef, chicken, or some root vegetables (turnip and sweet potato come to mind). Organic lentils, carrots, celery, onion, tomatoes and spices round this stew out, and I added a few organic potatoes to stretch the meat a little farther. It smelled amazing all day long, and we were not disappointed at dinner time!
Slow cookers come in so handy for meals like this! Just put the ingredients in first thing in the morning, plug it in, and forget about it until dinner time. On really busy days, I will sometimes prepare the ingredients the night before and leave the crockery part of the crock pot in the fridge over night…that way, I can just drop it in and turn in on the next morning. When assembling the ingredients, I decided to put the lamb bones into the pot along with the meat and other ingredients. This not only allows for a little extra meat in the stew, but also provides a deeper flavor and the health benefits of the extra minerals and gelatin you get from bone broth. Once you’ve chopped the meat and vegetables and added the spices, add the lentils (wash and sort them first, to avoid finding little lentil-sized rocks in your stew). Diced tomatoes go in next, and finally some chicken stock (here’s how to make bone broth at home in your crock pot). That’s it! Just plug it in and let the crock pot work its magic while you go about your business.
Right before dinner, remove the bones and the bay leaves. Stir in some chopped parsley, and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve with rice, if you’d like…and a sprinkle of crumbled feta cheese. So hearty, and so easy!
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