Sunday, May 15, 2005

Lamb, Fig and Olive Stew

Lamb, Fig and Olive Stew (Adapted from Eating Well)

8 ounces lean coarsely ground lamb
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
7 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 3/4 cups beef broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped dried black mission figs
2 tablespoons finely chopped, pitted green olives
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh grated lemon zest

In a medium saucepan, add lamb and cook over medium heat, stirring to crumble, until browned, about 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer lamb to a paper towel lined plate and discard any extra fat.

Wipe out the pan and drizzle in oil - heat over medium-high. Stir in 6 cloves of minced garlic and the herbes de Provence - cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, until slightly reduced, about 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together broth and cornstarch. Pour into the pan - bring to a high simmer, whisking constantly. Stir in tomatoes, figs and olives - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bring mixture back to a simmer - reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the tomatoes have broken down, about 5 minutes. Add cooked lamb and cook until thoroughly heated through, about 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together remaining clove of minced garlic, parsley and lemon zest. Serve stew topped with the parsley mixture.

Makes 2 servings.

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