FFWD – Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

Stirring the ingredients.

I’ve been reminded recently that I’m very lucky to have had access to free, organic meat for twenty years. My parents have a hobby farm and have kept chickens, sheep, ducks, and pigs over the years. My father’s also a hunter and fisher, so I’ve had access to wild game and fish, too. I think I’ll come to appreciate just how lucky I’ve been once my parents sell the farm, which they’re getting ready to do. So, I kept that in mind while making this stew, knowing that the lovely shoulder roast I was using for this meal is part of a now finite stock. I hope I’m able to find local lamb of such quality once the last of my parents’ lamb is gone.

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I removed the meat from the bones myself, including a small rack of ribs. We boiled the ribs with the other bones and fat, adding herbs, onion, and garlic. My mother then baked the ribs with herbs and barbeque sauce, while the rest simmered into a lovely lamb stock. (Making several things at once gives me a sense of resourcefulness that’s probably unearned.) Cutting the meat away from the bone, then chopping it into one-inch chunks is really the most difficult part of this recipe.

The second-most difficult part of the process for me was picking mint in the snow after dark. It felt quite adventurous, though, as we don’t usually get snow this early in the season and it actually stuck around until the next afternoon. The rest of the ingredients were easy to assemble and prepare.

Adding the apples and potatoes.

This stew is a mixture of Indian and North African flavours, which work remarkably well together. Mint, curry, cardamom, honey, and figs flavour slowly braised lamb, while potato and apple slices steam on top. I served mine atop a slice of country bread the first night and rice the next. Both soaked up the lovely jus beautifully.

This dish was worth chopping up a shoulder roast and would work really well with pork, too. It would also be easily translatable to crock pot cooking – I can imagine using thickly-cut pork chops, in that case. But lamb, that would still be my first choice, even after my parents’ supply runs out.

The finished stew, in a blue soup plate, on a lace tablecloth.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

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12 thoughts on “FFWD – Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

  1. You are amazing! It makes sense that you know how to deal with meat that hasn’t been completely butchered for you, considering you’re parent’s farm, but I still have to stand in awe of you. Seriously, I still haven’t started to try and grow herbs on my balcony, never mind butchering my meat or picking mint in the snow. Kudos to you girlfriend! ohhh I just got an idea, I’m going to peruse your blog to see if there are any posts on how to cut certain cuts of meat properly. If you haven’t written any, I would love it if you did! Great post!

  2. What a wonderful read! Like you, I also used our own butchered meat in this recipe, beef instead of lamb. I grew up on my family’s hobby farm too and it was such fun knowing where all our food was coming from. My parents no longer rear animals but we still have the fruits and vegetables, and now my kids love reaping the benefits of the farm. Your lamb curry, btw, looks amazing !

  3. Cutting up meat is fun. There, I said it. Isn’t it? The finished dish looks fab – and btw, I am no spice purist either! My cupboards are literally bursting with tinned spices. : )

  4. Having many things going at one time IS resourceful – so you’ve earned the right to say that.
    The stew looks lovely & I am sure it was made all the better due to the origins of the ingredients.

  5. Teresa, Lovely post and an absolutely gorgeous dish. I didn’t get do make it yet, but the reviews are so good I can’t wait to give it a try! Happy weekend!

  6. Such a lovely post. Your dish looks wonderful. My grandparents had a large farm and were self sufficient except for things like sugar, spices, etc…and everything was fresh. They and their produce are missed. Stay warm.

  7. I’m glad you’re back this week. The more I read, the more important it is to me to know where my meat came from. How lucky you are to have your parents’ farm as a resource, for now. Your stew looks delicious. I’m wondering how to translate this to the slow cooker, as it seems like a natural fit. I saved my shoulder bones and plan to roast them as the base for a stock. Like you, I love the resourcefulness of using it all. Such a bonus! I sometimes refer to it as “cooking garbage”.

  8. You have on clue how envious I am of you for access to organic meat. I’m sure it’ll be a sad time when the last day of the farm arrives. I hope you have plans for a big celebration party though for all the good memories the last twenty years!

    I switched to using slow cooker mid way through cooking. It worked well. 🙂

  9. Your lamb dish looks wonderful! I enjoyed reading your post so much and can picture you butchering your meat and going out into the cold to brush off the snow to get your mint. Such a vivid image. I know it is going to be difficult for you now that the farm is up for sale, but I also know that you are savoring every minute that you and your family have with the farm and tucking away those cherished memories. The experience of your family’s farm will be invaluable to you as you begin to look for local sources of organic meat and produce. How great is that?

  10. Looks great, Teresa! I can only imagine how much better it was with fresh, organic meat. You’re right. One of the things I like best about our group is trying new things – some great, and some not so great, but I’ve expanded my palate and repertoire over the past year.

    I made “Long and Slow Apples” for this week’s free choice – I can’t wait to see what everyone chooses.

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