I’ve waxed lyrical about what a great cook Auntie K is. Well, full disclosure: her first name is Mary. And this is a Lamb Stew. Ba-dum-dum.
Anyways, this is one well-travelled recipe. And probably one of my all-time favorite meals. Athenian Lamb Stew has been our Christmas Eve dinner of choice for…wow is it 10 years? Auntie K, Unkie J and the Grandparents have been dining on this since…well probably before I was born. It all started in a quaint little cottage in humble Falls Church, VA. I came out to the DC Area and Auntie and Unkie promptly packed up shop and headed for California (love you too, guys). We tracked them down in dreary Sonoma, CA and continued the tradition. And now in Chicago, the pots still simmer on Dec. 24.
Countless smiles and belly-aching laughs have been shared over this stew. There’s a reason it’s stuck around–its GOOD. Tender, tasty, and fills your tummy and your soul. To be honest, I have NO idea where it came from. The original I can recall is a printed sheet from back when Prodigy was the internet service of choice.
I know you’re all thinking, “enough with this sentimental crap! when are you sticking your arm up a chicken’s be-hind again?” Patience, grasshopper. While you’re practicing this virtue, MAKE THE STEW.
Athenian Lamb Stew
- 1 med-large onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 2 lbs. lean lamb shoulder or leg, cubed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 28-oz can crushed italian-style tomatoes (Progresso is the brand of choice)
- 1/2 c. red wine
- 1-2 c. green beans
- 1 stick cinnamon
- Pop the bubbly
- Enslave Grandma to cube the lamb
- Prep your veg-a-veg
- Ok NOW we’re ready: Saute onion, garlic, basil, and lamb in olive oil until onion is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
- Continue cooking until the lamb is lightly browned.
- Add tomatoes and wine, cook 10 minutes.
- Add green beans and cinnamon stick.
- Cover and cook over low heat 1-1.5 hours, until lamb is very tender.
- Serve with lemon rice.
Wow, you’re thinking to yourself, Lemon Rice sounds good. I wonder how they do that?
WONDER NO MORE.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 c. rice
- 1/4-1/3 c. onion, chopped
- juice of one lemon plus enough water to make 2 cups
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken bullion crystals
- Saute onions in oil until translucent but not brown (medium heat is best)
- Add rice, water, bullion, oregano, pepper
- Bring to boil, cover, turn down to simmer
- Cook 20-25 minutes.