Aromatic Lamb Stew

Aromatic Lamb Stew

Dena Moran

Another reason we love to cook:

Cooking connects us to the world around us and these cold and beautiful days remind me to enjoy my kitchen -- take the time to braise and stew and savor the deep flavors we all crave in winter.

Spend a glorious afternoon recreating this go-to, winter-worthy recipe.

It takes just a little time and love to prep, a little longer to stew and fill our home with comforting aromas and when we sit down at the table satisfy our palettes with rich, deep flavors.
I’ve been singing this ode to winter for years! This recipe serves four. 

2 lbs. lamb cubed, sinew removed
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, salt & pepper
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 large leeks, white parts only, cleaned, thinly sliced
1 small red pepper minced
3 stalks celery,  cut into 1/4" pieces
3 carrots, cut into  1/4" pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white wine
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed in 1/4" pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1/8  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
1 large tomato, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, salt  and pepper to taste

     Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in medium stockpot. Sprinkle lamb with flour and sauté until brown. Transfer lamb and all juices to plate, clean the pot and continue.

    Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in stockpot over medium-low heat. Add onions, leeks, red pepper, celery, carrots, garlic, salt. Cook on low heat for approximately 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not brown the garlic.

    Add white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce. Add the potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes until well blended and potatoes start to look glazed.

    Add sautéed lamb and lamb juice, salt, cayenne pepper, coriander and chinese-5 spice powder. Mix well until nicely blended.

    Add 1 cup chicken stock, 1 cup beef stock and 1/4 cup red wine. Bring to a boil.

    Add chopped tomato, corn kernels, oregano, parsley, thyme, additional 1/2 cup of chicken stock and the sesame oil.

    Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour, until potatoes are tender. Taste for seasoning.

    These ingredients can be found at Olde Hudson.



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    How Stew Saved My Life

    How Stew Saved My Life

    Dena Moran

    The warm weather made Olde Hudson’s move to new quarters on Warren Street much easier than it would have been with mounds of snow and your good wishes made me positively buoyant.  But I still needed more—more energy, more time, more pleasure and more nourishment for the job ahead.

    Being who I am and what I do every day I looked for those things by doubling down on the joy of being able to cook every day with great ingredients.

    My choice for the best meals often has been stew.  Maybe because stews transform familiar ingredients mysteriously into great meals.  I’m beginning to believe that they evolved to give us the happiness of place and taste and process.

    So whether you call it stew or estofado, ragout or stufato we need to celebrate the time-honored marriage of meat, fish, vegetables and legumes cooking in liquid. Giving them personality and cultural context with spices and serving them in the simple manner they dictate—that’s the bonus.

    So I look around at the shelves at Olde Hudson and decide if Italian or Indian, Asian or French is the accent I want over noodles or rice.  Or do I just want to add potatoes to the pot?  Beans?  Yup.  Stew saved my life!

    The principles of stew are always the same but here’s a  basic Veal Stew -- a delicate welcome-to-spring offering.  It serves 4 or 2 lucky people twice.

    I tablespoon Vermont Butter and Cheese Butter
    2 lbs veal, cubed
    Optional: 1 cup Peewee Potatoes or 1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes cut into cubes
    1 sprig tarragon
    1 bunch of scallions or 1 lb of shallots or onions
    Salt and pepper
    ½ cup of white wine
    1 cup of English Peas or Baby Carrots cut into 1-inch pieces or almost any sort of mushrooms, etc. What’s is in the veggie bin? 

    Add oil and butter to a heated heavy skillet and then add the meat—don’t crowd it, each piece should have contact with the pan. Cook it until the meat is browned on the bottom, 4-5 minutes. Scrape any stuck pieces up and turn the meat,

    Add tarragon, onions, shallots or scallions and salt and pepper and stir until they soften then add the wine or water and potatoes, if you’re using them, turn heat to low and cover. You can cook this 35-40 minutes… meat and potatoes should be should be fork tender.

    Uncover, add the veggies and allow to steam right on top for another 5-6 minutes.
    If you haven’t made this with potatoes serve over Jasmine rice or wide noodles.

    These ingredients can be found at Olde Hudson


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    Ramp Soup for FOUR

    Ramp Soup for FOUR

    Dena Moran

    Surely nothing, NOTHING, beats the earthy scent of spring. This morning, as I Ieft the house to head out to Olde Hudson it made me think of Ramp Soup – a reward if there ever was one. I’ve been making one variation or another for a few years now.

    Ramp season is so short-lived that we need to grab the moment. So, here’s the soup. Enjoy it with three happy companions.


    2 whole heads of fresh garlic, rinsed thoroughly
    1 pound ramps--bulbs and leaves, roots removed, thoroughly cleaned
    2 tablespoons of La Castellina Olive Oil and some for dribbling
    7-8 cups of Aneto chicken stock
    Coarse salt
    1 teaspoon vinegar
    4 local farm-fresh eggs
    1 loaf of crusty bread


    Pre-heat oven to 425-degrees and place rack on 2nd tier from top. Place both heads of garlic on foil or in a small pan, drizzle with extra virgin Olive, roast for 45 minutes to an hour until soft, remove and let cool. 

    Place the ramps in roasting pan, toss with olive oil and coarse salt, roast for 8-10 minutes, until soft, remove from oven, and coarsely chop.

    Heat olive oil in stock pot, squeeze roasted garlic from the garlic heads into the pan, sauté until warm and breakable; add the coarsely chopped roasted ramps, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

    Add 7 cups chicken stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. If there is not enough liquid add more chicken stock and bring back to a simmer. With a hand blender or in a conventional blender, purée the soup mixture until smooth. Prepare the eggs: In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil, add salt and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Gently break each egg into a cup and pour into the boiling water.

    To serve: slice four pieces of crusty bread, place each on the bottom of four soup bowls, ladle hot soup over the bread, add one poached egg in each bowl, Season with additional salt and pepper and grated Parmasean Reggiano to taste.


    These ingredients can be found at Olde Hudson


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