This warm, comforting Eggplant Lamb Stew is perfect for a cold winter day. This post is sponsored by The American Lamb Board.
- 4 American lamb shanks
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided*
- 3 teaspoons pepper, divided
- 4 teaspoons all spice, divided
- 2 medium sized onions, cut in large chunks
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 large eggplants, cut in large chunks
- 1 can of whole tomatoes, 28oz
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups red wine and/or beef stock
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups of Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cut vermicelli noodles
- 4 tablespoons butter (salted if you can)
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt*
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack toward the lower 1/3 of your oven.
- Begin by seasoning your lamb shanks with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1.5 teaspoons of pepper and 2 teaspoons of all spice. If you are using table salt, be sure to cut in half – see note below.
- Place your dutch oven on a strong buner on your stovetop on medium-high heat. Once hot, add in your lamb shanks, as many as you can fit and begin searing on each side, flipping to ensure all sides are seared and browned. Repeat with any shanks that were not able to fit at the bottom of your pot. Each seared side should take 3-4 minutes.
- Remove shanks and set aside.
- In the same dutch oven, add your onions, garlic, eggplant and remaining spices (salt, pepper and all spice). Allow these aromatics to cook and brown slightly – about 6-8 minutes.
- Once browned and eggplant wilted down, add in your cinnamon sticks, bay leaves and canned tomato. Finally top with lamb shanks and pour your wine and/or stock.
- You can use all wine, or split half and half wine and beef stock.
- Be sure to nestle your lamb shanks into the liquid and softened aromatics.
- Place your lid on and pop into a 350 degree oven for 2.5 hours.
- At the halfway point, I like to remove and taste the sauce to see if any additional seasoning – salt, pepper needs to be added. Add as needed.
- In a bowl, add your rice. I prefer Jasmine rice to other varieties but any long-grain will do.
- Begin rinsing your rice, fill the rice bowl with water and you’ll notice a cloudy white form. Drain that water and begin again.
- You’ll repeat the fill, rinse and drain until the water runs clear. It usually takes about 10 times or so.
- Drain in a small strainer and set aside.
- In a non-stick rice pot, melt your butter on medium-high heat and add your cut vermicelli noodles. Continue to stir until noodles become a golden brown. Be sure to keep watch as they can burn quickly if not watching.
- Once browned, add your rinsed rice to the pot and continue to cook.
- Allow your rice to coat with the butter vermicelli mixture and begin to slightly toast. I like to do this for about 10 minutes.
- Next, add 4 cups of water to your rice pot, 2 teaspoons kosher salt and set to high heat and allow to come to a boil.
- Once it comes to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer and set a timer for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, turn off heat and when ready, fluff with a fork and enjoy with your lamb stew.
- Kosher Salt – all salts have a varying level of saltiness. I cook with kosher salt because it lends to a better flavor and can be controlled a little better. You’ll see there will be MORE kosher salt but it in fact is less salty. If you use table salt in place, be sure to cut it half to ensure your dish is not too salty.
- Rice – You can certainly pair this dish with any style rice you choose, including instant rice.
- Wine vs stock – Cooking with wine is not uncommon but rest assured it is safe for children, the alcohol completely cooks off. You can certainly substitute with beef or even chicken stock if you aren’t comfortable or you are not able to cook with wine.
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