Tomatillo Lamb Stew
Cat Cora | Yield: 4-6
Tomatillos and fresh cilantro add a zestiness to Cat Cora's lamb stew, inspired by a traditional navarin.
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarsely-ground black pepper
- 3 1/2 pounds Boneless Leg of Lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more if needed
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup fresh tomatillos, chopped (4 large or 6–8 small) or drained canned tomatillos
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped, plus 4-6 sprigs for garnish
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 3/4 cup light sour cream
- In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the lamb cubes in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Discard the flour.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add about one third of the lamb cubes to the pan; don’t crowd the pan, or the meat will steam rather than brown. Cook, stirring, until the lamb is browned well on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. If needed, add another tablespoon of oil before adding half of the remaining lamb cubes. Brown the meat as you did the first batch and transfer to the plate. Repeat with the final batch of lamb cubes.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if needed and add the garlic and onions. Cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 8 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook for 3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze. Return the lamb to the pan along with any juices on the plate and add the beef stock, tomatillos, chopped cilantro, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 11/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fork-tender.
- With tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb cubes to a large bowl. Reduce the sauce over high heat until thickened, about 10 minutes. Skim off the fat and strain the sauce over the meat, discarding the solids.
- Return the meat and sauce to the Dutch oven. (The stew can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept, covered, in the refrigerator. Be sure you allow it to cool before covering it.) Gently reheat until warm and ladle the stew into bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a fresh cilantro sprig or place the sour cream in a small bowl on the table and let guests help themselves.