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“I love cooking with wine – sometimes I even put it in the food” Julia Child

Generally a recipe will call for red wine or white wine, but very rarely do you come across a recipe that includes both. Well look no further… Basque Lamb Stew aka double the fun. When I first came across this recipe I was intrigued, I’d never used both red and white wine in a recipe. According to the recipe mixing of red and white does happen in Spanish cooking – I’m definitely going to have to investigate this further!! When I was telling my Mom about this she was definitely a little (or a lot) skeptical about the recipe. I believe her response was “Red and white.. Ohh interesting” in that doubtful motherly tone that I knew she was shaking her head on the other side of the phone.

I had some serious writing to do over the weekend so it seemed liked the perfect time for a stew, rich and warming a lovely Sunday night treat. Plus it generally gets better with time and the leftovers would be welcome (it’s shaping up to be a long week). For a while T. has been suggesting I start shopping for meat at a butcher – well after one particularly bad beef roast from our supermarket this past Fall. Fair enough he is from farming land, where they would buy meat directly from farms.  I’m from the sea, and never buy fish here, but when I do I go to the fish market. Actually I ignored his butcher requests, another stop in the grocery shopping didn’t seem like the best idea, then he threatened to buy half a cow – don’t ask!! After that announcement I turned to Twitter and Yelp to find a butcher. Needless to say he was right! For the past few months I’ve been going to a local butcher, and yes it is a little bit more expensive, but the quality of their products does not compare to the supermarket. Not too mention this butcher is so cool you can tweet your order! Personally I don’t think it gets much better (my Mom is for sure shaking her head right now!!). If any of you are on the fence about supporting a local butcher or continuing shopping at your supermarket, in my experience there isn’t any comparison. I’m fully converted to my local butcher!! My only regret is not shopping there sooner. Your options are so much greater, the meat tastes like meat should, and they are knowledgable about preparation methods. Give your local butcher a try you will not be disappointed.

The lamb stew was delicious! I’m literally counting the hours till dinner so I can eat it again. The use of both red and white wasn’t as drastic as it sounds, the meat was marinated in the white wine with garlic and rosemary. The red was used during cooking.

Aside of getting to cook with red and white wine, another draw of this recipe was that it wasn’t a traditional stew heavy in root vegetables. I followed the recipe, although I did add a little extra chicken stock and after tasting I added 1 tbsp of tomato paste. The stew simmered away for 2 1/2 hours and smelled amazing!!

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The recipe suggested serving with bread, which unfortunately I did not have, I choose to roast little potatoes in oil and garlic. The potatoes were a great accompaniment to the dish, they soaked up the sauce but were still crispy. Tonight I will pick up a baguette for the leftovers. Really I can not say enough about this dish! One of my new favs, which is largely owed to the high quality meat I used. The lamb was so flavourful and tender, I hate to use the cliche ‘melt in your mouth’ but it truly was. So a huge thanks to Acme for being such kick-ass butchers!! 🙂

 

 

 

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