Sunday, February 26, 2006
Acoma Lamb Stew With Cholla Buds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh wild mint*
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 teaspoon azafran*, crumbled
1 21/2 to 3lb boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed; cut into 1X1 in cubes
2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
1 lb ramps or leeks, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 can 14 1/2 oz diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup dried cholla buds*
2 1/2 cups (or more) chicken broth
6 pcs lemonade berry* OR; juice of 1/2 lemon
Place 1/2 cup warm water and azafran in small bowl; let stand at least 20
minutes to infuse.
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large
pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all
sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb
to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon
oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add ramps; sprinkle with salt and
pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemonade berry juice or
lemon juice, garlic, cumin, and chili Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, cholla buds, and lamb with any
juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.
Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly
ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding
more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to
taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly.
Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)
Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide
stew among 6 plates; Sprinkle with wild mint and place wedge of fry bread
alongside each and serve.
*Chefs notes: Cholla buds can be obtained from
http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/what_we_sell/fruits_grains.html or you can
replace with artichoke hearts, Brussels sprouts or asparagus. If you use
any of these replacements add to stew the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Azafran can be obtained in any Mexican market spice rack.
Lemonade berry juice boil 6 berries in 1/4 cup water strain and discard berries or replace with lemon juice.
American wild mint can be replaced with regular mint leaves from the grocers fresh spice shelf.
Yield: 6 servings.