Friday, July 9, 2010

One More Winter Warmer

Winter is almost at its end, but I am still taking advantage of the cold weather. I love stews and soups so much, I even eat them in summer - I really don't know what it is about them - maybe it is the hot, flavoursome liquid slowly running down my throat, warming me up from the inside out or the feeling of comfort a well made stew evokes - like being wrapped in a blanket.

It's only 8:30 in the morning as I am writing this, but boy could I do with some right now!

I think the secret to a good stew is the layering of flavours - so that each mouthful is slightly different, but equally as delicious. And I simply adore the rustic feel of chunky carrots - when you bite into them there must still be a slight crunch and a burst of sweetness, followed by the flavours they have absorbed... Mmmm.... "Stewy Carrots Please!"

Lamb and Split Pea Casserole:
(Serves 4)


500g Lamb Cubes (I used The Organic Cubes from Woolies)
2 Large Leeks, Chopped
3 Large Carrots, Roughly Chopped
3 Sticks Celery, Roughly Chopped
3 Large Tomatoes, Skins Removed and Cut into Quarters
A Few Sprigs of Rosemary
Meat Stock (yeast and gluten free) or Homemade Gravy, (I had some left over gravy from Sunday lunch, which was wonderful as it had all the flavours from the beef roast juices in it) Enough to Cover the Ingredients
Salt and Pepper
Vital Soya Sauce (Yeast Free) or Tamari
1 Cup Split Peas
Wild Brown Rice for Serving


Heat oven to 120 degrees Celsius
Fry leeks in a drop of olive oil with a sprinkle of salt
Add the lamb, a few cubes at a time, until it is all nicely browned
Add rosemary, carrots and celery
Fry for a few more minutes
Transfer everything to an oven dish
Add the paprika, meat stock or gravy, a squeeze of soya sauce for extra flavour, the tomatoes, a sprinkle of Xylitol - to counter balance the tartness of the tomatoes, and the split peas
Cook in the oven for about 1.5 hours until the peas are tender
Stir occasionally
Serve with wild brown rice

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