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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cooking Adventure: The Hunger Games - Lamb Stew with Dried Plums

For Christmas this year, my cousin got me my very own dutch oven! I couldn't believe it! It was on my wishlist for the longest time. I wanted to break it in with something super special so today, I made Katniss' favorite dish from the Capitol - Lamb Stew with Dried Plums - from the book series The Hunger Games.

While I was looking at The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook on Amazon, I found a sample of the recipes in a downloadable PDF. It has 10 recipes from the book, including the unofficial recipe for Lamb Stew with Dried Plums! With the recipe in hand, I set out on my next cooking adventure.
The Hunger Games - Lamb Stew with Dried Plums
THE HUNGER GAMES: LAMB STEW WITH DRIED PLUMS
Adapted from "Katniss's Favorite Lamb Stew with Dried Plums" in The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook
Yields: 8-10 servings

Ingredients
  • 3.5 pounds of lamb, cut into 1.5" pieces
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 3 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 pound of baby carrots
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 pounds of potatoes, cubed
  • 3 cups dried plums (pitted prunes)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3/4 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can ginger ale (12 oz)
Directions
  1. Mix salt, pepper, and flour in a large freezer bag.
  2. Add lamb and toss to coat meat evenly.
  3. Heat oil in a large pan and brown meat in batches.
  4. Remove lamb to a side plate.
  5. Remove any excess fat from the pan.
  6. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are golden.
  7. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup of water.
  8. Place onion-garlic mixture and lamb into a large dutch oven.
  9. Add beef stock and sugar.
  10. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.
  11. Add baby carrots and simmer for 15 minutes.
  12. Add potatoes, celery, dried plums, herbs, and ginger ale.
  13. Simmer for another 45 minutes or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
  14. Salt to taste.
I tried to stay true to the book and served the stew with a brown rice blend and crusty whole grain bread (both from Trader Joe's). I thought the stew was a little on the sweet side so next time, I'll add less sugar and adjust the taste at the end. Also, I'm not a fan of thyme so I'll omit that entirely next time. But other than that, it was an enjoyable stew. My dad was pleasantly surprised by how good the dried plums were in the stew and ended up liking it the most... so overall, I'd say this was a success!

I hope you guys enjoy taking a bite out of Panem. Until the next great adventure...

UPDATE (1/17/2012): The flavor of the stew tasted a lot better the next day (and even more the day after). The herbs and dried plum flavors all melded together nicely so the thyme didn't stick out as much.

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