Saturday, October 13, 2012

Lamb stew with wheat berries in red wine sauce

Wheat berries
2 cups water
1 cup wheat berries

Garlic Yogurt
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic, minced
fine sea salt

1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 cup dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 lb. lamb cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 lb. carrots, cut 1/4 inch thick (about 3 cups)
3/4 cups dark raisins
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

T prepare wheat berries, bring the water and the wheat berries to a boil in a medium pan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the wheat berries are tender with a slight chew, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside to steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain,, reserving the cooking liquid (about 1/2 cup)
Meanwhile, prepare the garlic yogurt. Beat the yogurt in a small bowl with a fork until smooth. Stir in the garlic and season with sea salt. Chill covered until ready to serve.
To make the stew, place the tomatoes with their juices, wine, vinegar and paprika in a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon or your hands, gently crush the tomatoes and combine the mixture.
Pat the lamb dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or pan over medium heat until shimmering. Working in 2 or 3 batches, cook the lamb until browned on all sides, adding a bit more oil if the pan goes dry, about 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. Decrease the heat to medium; add the onion, garlic, cinnamon, bay leaf and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onion softens, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 30 seconds, stirring. Add the tomato mixture (it may splatter), the meat with its accumulated juices, the carrots, and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, scraping the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Add the raisins, the wheat berries, and if needed, enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the vegetables (the tips of the carrots will show). Return to a boil. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the lamb is fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Add more cooking liquid or water to thin, if you like.
To finish, season with the brown sugar and pepper, as well as a dash more balsamic vinegar. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve with the garlic yogurt.

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