Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ushant Lamb Stew & Corbieres

I came across an interesting and simple recipe on the Michelin site last week.

It's a lamb stew from the island of Ushant (or Ouessant en français), which is located in the English Channel. It's part of France. Population 932. As you can see from the accompanying video, the cooking is supposed to be over (and under) a peat fire. I made it a few nights ago but, no, I did not cook it that way; I used the oven instead. Other changes I made: I threw in some za’atar (a mixture of thyme, oregano, and marjoram) that we got at a Mid-Eastern specialty store and I used lamb shoulder only. The recipe also calls for a "swede", which is rutabaga! (Are there lots of rutabagas in Sweden?) Note that the list of ingredients does not include meat stock, but you do need it, enough to cover everything but the potatoes on top. Turned out very well! For best results, make sure that your ingredients are right at the top of the pot.

In the accompanying video, they mention that the peat fire imparts a smoky taste. It's one of those rare recipes where I immediately thought that you could drink Scotch with it (the dish, not the recipe…although you can always drink some scotch as you’re waiting for the dish to cook). But we had a good red from Corbieres, a blend of old vine Carignan (50%), Grenache (25%) and Syrah (25%). A superb match!

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