The lamb chops looked too good to pass up. They look smaller then often found in the grocery store and that is because small farms raise sheep to the size that they are naturally meant to be. Sustainable farmers create a higher-quality product because they let animals roam on pastures and graze on grass and other plants they would naturally eat. Many small-scale sheep farmers can offer a unique variety of lamb meats with more subtle flavors than those produced by large scale operations. I noticed that several loyal customers came to the market to pick up a specific type or cut of meat that they had preordered with Azariah Acres. Sustainable lamb producers also refrain from giving their flock unnecessary antibiotics. Aside from being full of flavor, lamb is an excellent source of easily absorbed zinc and iron.
I took my lamb chops home and tried the following recipe, which is a take off of a traditional Irish Stew. The results were fabulous. The longer cook time allowed all of the flavors to seep together and the lamb to become tender and layered with taste. The dash of Raspberry Pepper Jam adds a touch of sweetness along with a hint of heat.
I would recommend this recipe for your next family gathering or cold winter evening at home. Since it cooks for so long, you can start it before your guests arrive and have more time to spend catching up on all the juicy gossip. We served ours with a mixed green salad, Irish soda bread, and a nice Chardonnay. Simple and elegant, so we say "Lamb it up!!"
Sweet Heat Lamb Stew
3lbs of Lamb Chops or approximately 8 chops
2lbs pealed potatoes
4 generous stems of parsley and thyme rough chopped
1 pound sliced yellow onions
2tbs Lucille's Kitchen Garden Raspberry Pepper Jelly
Fresh ground black pepper and sea salt
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Cut potatoes into large chunks and put 1/3rd in the base of large casserole or Dutch oven sprinkle with herbs and ground pepper
- Place half of the lamb chops on top of the cut potatoes, cover with half of the sliced onions, and sprinkle with herbs
- Repeat this with remaining ingredients finishing with the final third of the potatoes and salt top layer generously to taste.
- Spread the Lucille's Kitchen Garden Raspberry Pepper Jam on top
- Add two cups of water and cover tightly
- Simmer stew for two hours, checking liquid level occasionally. There should be a nice, natural gravy building in the pot. Add water as necessary. DO NOT STIR. Shake pan gently from time to time to keep sticking to a minimum.