The most exciting thing about this race was… this stew. Not a phrase I would usually say, but the Russian track is indeed boring, and this stew is indeed delicious.
Although this recipe takes a good amount of time, it is not a whole lot of work, for what turns out to be a great flavor and a hearty meal. We served it with Russian Black Bread and enjoyed it all week.
Lamb and Mushroom Stew
Adapted from Russian Regional Recipes by Susan Ward
2 ½ pounds of lamb shank or neck of lamb, cut into large pieces
7 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 long red medium hot peppers, seeded and chopped
½ pound white or cremini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped in half, or whole if small
1 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
2 ½ cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4-6 ounces pearl barley
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 whole cloves
salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces sour cream or yoghurt
handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped (optional)
1. In a dutch oven or heavy pan over medium heat brown the lamb pieces in 3 ½ tablespoons of the oil. Remove and set aside. Add the onion to the pan, and cook until it is soft, about 6 minutes.
2. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the lamb. Add the rest of the oil and sauté the red peppers and mushrooms for about 5 minutes until softened. Remove and set aside in a separate bowl.
3. Preheat oven to 325 F. Stir the onions and lamb back into the pan along with the mustard, chicken stock, and white wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 1 ½ hours until the lamb is very tender and falling off the bone.
4. Remove the lamb from the pan and using tongs or your hands pull the meat off the bones and shred or chop into smaller pieces. Return to the pan and stir into the stock along with the barley, cumin seeds, cloves, and seasoning to taste. Simmer for about an hour until the barley is tender and the stock has been absorbed.
5. Stir the red pepper and mushrooms into the stew, along with the sour cream or yoghurt. If you want more of a stew, add additional chicken stock (up to 4 cups). Heat through for 10-12 minutes, take off the heat, stir in the chopped parsley (optional).