Now that I’m “with child”, I am finding that I want to spend less time in the kitchen. I want to enjoy every minute I can with my son right now, while it’s still just the three of us. Soon he’ll be sharing every moment with a little, crying, squirming stranger. Although he shows lots of curiosity towards babies, I doubt it will be the same when the baby is taking Mommy away. Also, it’s winter, and to me, that means stew. I love a good hearty, body warming bowl of filling stew. Full of complex flavours and so thick it needs to be chewed, this is the perfect winter warm up.
These days, around here anyway, the ground is covered in a thick layer of frost every morning. So thick, it almost looks like it snowed, but no such luck yet. I can only hope for that lifelong yearning of a “white” Christmas. The house is full of decorations, our brand new tree was chopped down only yesterday and the house smells of Grand Fir. I love it. When I come downstairs to go to the bathroom every two hours at night, I smell all my childhood Christmases. It’s fantastic, and I can only hope that this brings as much joy as years gone by. I have to say though, there’s no better present than finding out you are expecting the unexpected. This new baby brings with it so much joy, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.
Look forward to the next weeks, as I prepare my annual Christmas gifts. Baking! Not just cookies, but all sorts of goodies for everyone on your list.
2 lb lamb roast (shoulder)
1 Tbsp canola oil (or other neutral cooking oil)
1 clove garlic, minced or grated
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cubed (I like Yukon Gold, personally)
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into half rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced
900mL low sodium chicken broth
1 bay leaf
fresh thyme and rosemary to taste
salt & pepper to taste
10oz dark beer (I used a honey ale)
1/2 cup barley
1. Trim lamb roast of excess fat and cut into cubes about 1″ x 1″.
2. In a deep sided saucepan, sear lamb on medium/high heat for 6-8 minutes. Season with salt & pepper. Remove to stockpot, reserving liquid. Meat will still be pinkish in colour.
3. In same saucepan on medium heat, sauté garlic, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes until softened.
4. Add vegetables to stock pot with meat.
5. Add in minced herbs and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes.
6. Add in beer, simmer for another 5 minutes, add stock, bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer.
7. Simmer for at least 2 hours.
8. Add barley in during last 45 minutes.
9. Serve with my Garlic & Herb Beer Bread.