Mediterranean Lamb Stew

Stews, casseroles and curries make great camping food and this recipe is a tasty variation on an old favourite, the lamb infusing with the zing of black olives and tomatoes.

This dish can be cooked in any of three ways, slow cooked over a direct flame or fire, cooked in a camp oven in the embers or oven cooked at home.Care needs to be taken when cooking acid based dishes like this that contain lots of wine, vinegar or tomatoes in cast iron pots - be wary of infusing your meal with a metallic taste. This article on pots and pans may interest you.


Mediterranean Lamb Stew
Ingredients (for 4 - 6)

6 Lamb chops on the bone

18 button mushrooms halved

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

12 black olives, pipped and quartered

2 paprikas’ or 1 red capsicum diced

2 medium brown onions, quartered

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and bruised

3 rashers of bacon, diced

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup red or white wine

5 peeled tomatoes, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of fresh parsley

½ - 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon corn flour

4 carrots peeled and sliced into ½ cm rings

1 cup peas

Salt to taste


Method

Pour chicken stock into a casserole or ‘non tasting’ camp oven and add the chopped parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, olives and chopped paprika’s or capsicum.

In a heavy based pan heat half the olive oil and thoroughly brown the mushrooms on a high heat so as not to ‘stew’ them. When the mushrooms are well browned add the onions and whole bruised garlic cloves and stir fry until the onions have picked up some colour and are beginning to brown in places also.

Add these ingredients to the stock in the casserole and heat the remaining oil in the browning pan. Add the bacon pieces and cook, stirring until crisp.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and add it to the casserole.

Add the lamb chops to the browning pan and quickly sear.

Add the chopped tomatoes to the lamb stir and pour in the wine and cook on a high heat for a few minutes to reduce the liquid to half.

Pour this lamb and tomato reduction into the casserole with all the other ingredients.

Cover the casserole or camp oven and bake in a moderate oven (about 150 degrees C) for 1 ¾ hours.

Alternately, place the camp oven in a cooler part of the camp fire and add hot embers to the sealed lid.

Blend cornflour with ¼ cup of water remove casserole from heat and gently stir the flour mixture through.

Add the peas and carrots and return the casserole to the heat. Simmer until the sauce is thick and the carrots are cooked but still firm.

Serve with a pasta dish or any style of potato.

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