Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lamb and Figs in a Dutch Oven

I was picking figs from a neighbor's tree. The branches hung over my fence allowing me to pick those ripe black figs for breakfast this morning. After picking a bowl, I thought about how I would eat the bountiful harvest!

I love the traditional recipe of Lamb and Prunes and thought I could substitute the prunes for figs. Figs are jam-like sweet with a chewy skin. They are like candy and addicting. I hope I have enough for this recipe!

Lamb and Figs

deep frying pan with lid (dutch oven if you are camping)
2 large onions, diced
3 cloves of garlic (use as much as you like)
1/8 cup of olive oil
3 - 4 lbs of boneless lamb, cubed
1 cup of chicken stock (homemade is better)
1-1/2 cups of California Merlot or dry red wine
3 Tbsp of Balsamic vinegar
bay leaves
1 heaping tsp dried mustard
1 heaping tsp ground cumin
1 heaping tsp coriander
pinch tsp cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch chili flakes
salt to taste
10 fresh figs cut in half
brown sugar to taste (optional)
hot rice for side dish

Brown onions until translucent with brown edges. Add garlic and saute together. Add cubes of lamb and cook at high heat until meat is seared. Add chicken stock, wine, vinegar and all hte spices including the bay leaves; bring mixture to a low boil. Cover with a lid and simmer until lamb is tender. (Approx 45 min)

Add figs and brown sugar (go easy on this one since figs are very sweet). As the mixture reduces, the lamb will take on a nice sweet glaze. Test for tenderness with a fork. Serve immediately with rice.
Serves approx 6 - 8 people.

Quickie Recipe Tip!

Side Dish of Figs: cut 5 figs in half and place cut side down and gently sear over medium high heat in olive oil, garlic and 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar. They will caramelize quickly on the cut surface; turn heat down to low or off & reduce liquid. Add these tender morsels as a side dish to grilled meats such as lamb, pork or chicken.

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