Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lamb with Celeriac

Although I love Middle Eastern food, I haven't had much luck with cooking it. For some reason, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food never worked for me even though it came highly recommended. With trepidation, I decided to try a recommended book focused on Turkish food. After trying two recipes for dinner one night, I'm cautiously optimistic. This dish came out surprisingly rich, despite it's lack of cream. The only thing I'd change with this recipe is skipping the flour thickening. I found that I needed water to thin the recipe back out. I've included the original though in case your sauce doesn't thicken as easily as mine! The instructions for this recipe were a bit cumbersome, so I've simplified somewhat to save on dirty dishes.

One year ago: Espresso Black Bean Stew
Two years ago: Cranberry Winter Stew

Lamb with Celeriac (adapted from Sultan's Kitchen)

6 tbsp flour, divided
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 celeriac
1 lemon, cut in half
1/4 cup unsalted butter
900g boneless lamb shoulder or shank, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1.5" cubes
1 large Spanish onion, diced
2 cups lamb stock
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
salt and pepper
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch

1. Blend 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp lemon juice and 1 quart cold water. Peel celeriac and cut into 1" thick slices. Rub slices with half of cut lemon and place in water. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in heavy saucepan and brown lamb chunks, stirring frequently. Stir in onion and cook for 1 more minute. Add stock, cover pan, and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 50 minutes.
3. Shake off excess water from celeriac and slide under lamb. Add dill and season with salt and pepper. Cover lamb mixture with parchment paper and place lid on top. Simmer over low to medium heat for 20 minutes or until lamb is cooked and celeriac is tender.
4. Ladle out lamb and celeriac to a serving dish and keep warm. Blend remaining 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp water and add to saucepan if sauce is very liquidy. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring and lower heat to simmer 1 minute.
5. Blend egg yolks with juice of remaining half lemon and cornstarch. Pour into saucepan, stirring and continue cooking for 2 minutes or until it thickens. Do not boil. Pour over lamb and celeriac and serve.

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