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Merguez spiced lamb stew

Chef Lenny Redé
Wine Pairings:

The cooler weather and darkening skies got me thinking about stew. I also was thinking French and remembering one of my favorite sausages, the Merguez sausage. Widely popular in France this sausage traces its origins to North Africa and 12th century Arabian Andalucía. Lamb Scented with cumin, coriander, cinnamon, fennel and pepper is a great way to brighten a darkening evening.

A classic pairing for Lamb Stew is Bordeaux, but with the touch of spice in this dish I recommend a new world merlot. Something with a little more fruit-forward style and not too much tannin; Washington State Merlot to the rescue! We turn to a top a notch library selection with the 2016 Five Star Cellars Merlot. There’s rich aromas of black fruit and black plum that introduce this full bodied wine with more black cherry and plum on the palate. Its hard to imagine a more delightful evening dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and sinew, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo Pepper or Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (Pimentón Dulce)
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped.
  • 1 each onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 3 cups red potatoes quartered.
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups Garbanzo Beans, cooked and drained.
  • Cilantro or Parsley for garnish
Couscous
  • 1 cup couscous
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few dashes Tabasco
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water

Steps

1.

Using a mortar and pestle, grind cumin, coriander, and fennel, then combine with cinnamon, Aleppo pepper and paprika in a large bowl. Add the cubed lamb and coat with spices, add the salt and pepper.

2.

Heat a large heavy bottom pot and add olive oil.

3.

Add the seasoned lamb to the pot and brown for about 10 minutes.

4.

Add the garlic and onions.

5.

Deglaze with red wine and tomatoes, then bring to a simmer, cover, and reduce the heat. Cook for 1 hour.

6.

When the meat is tender add the carrots, potatoes and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary.

7.

Make the couscous: Combine dry couscous with everything but boiling water. Stir until combined, add boiling water and cover. Rest for 20 minutes. Stir to fluff.

8.

Add the garbanzo beans and vinegar to stew. Check the stew for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

9.

Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro and lemon wedges if you like.

Chef Image

About Chef Lenny Redé

Leonard Redé brings a unique blend of culinary and wine expertise to everything he does. An award-winning Pastry Chef, his desserts have graced the tables of Presidential State Dinners for Bill Clinton, he has presented High Tea to the late Princess Diana and created gilded birthday cakes for the Sultan of Brunei. He was nominated for educator of the year when he was a Chef Instructor at the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. He loves to share his passion for all things gastronomic and he’ll gladly help you navigate the world of wine and is always quick with a wine pairing or recipe.