I'm a freelance writer based in South West London, but i'm frequently travelling. Stay tuned! I pop up in the strangest places.
Published July 30th 2012
If, like me, you are a big fan of the Hunger Games Trilogy, then you would remember the scene when the hero and heroine, Peeta and Katniss, were hidden, injured and starving in a cave whilst a storm raged outside. All seemed lost when their mentor Heymitch sent them a delicious meal that was Katniss's favourite from the capitol and this of course, was the delicious lamb stew with dried plums that guaranteed not only to cause a feeding frenzy in the cave, but also a nation of lamb lovers to slaver over the prospect of cooking such an iconic and simple meal.
As soon as I read that scene, my mouth started to water and I felt that I had to try and recreate that dish. After experimenting time and time again with different stew and curry mixes, I believe that I have finally found the stew that has been on everyone's minds ever since the books came out!
Have fun making it - I certainly did.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
900g chopped lamb pieces, chopped roughly into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 teaspoons sea salt 2 tablespoons of flour 3 carrots cut into thirds
1 large red onion
1 cup of butternut squash/ new potatoes
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lamb/ chicken stock
½ teaspoon of tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh coriander
1 cup prunes / dried plumbs
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 cups of wild rice prepared according to directions.
This stew takes about 2 hours to make, but its well worth the trouble! I suggest reading the Hunger Games books while you wait. All the better to get you in the mood for the warmth and comfort of lamb stew.
1) In a mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, turmeric, cumin, pepper and salt. Mix well until it becomes a thick paste.
2) Add the chopped lamb to the bowl and toss to coat well. Set aside to marinade for 20 mins.
3) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large and heavy bottomed pan over a medium heat. Add the lamb and brown well. Add the flour gradually, stirring in the mix. Make sure the lamb does not burn and stir constantly to make sure none of the meat sticks onto the bottom of the pan. Remove to a plate and cover.
4) Add onions, carrots and butternut squash to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring to remove the browned bits of the lamb and absorb the juices.
5) Stir in the fresh garlic and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
6) Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lamb/chicken stock, tomato paste and the bay leaf.
7) Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally until the lamb is tender.
8) Add the dried plums and golden raisins for the last half hour of cooking.
9) Stir in most of the chopped coriander.
10) Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining coriander.
Allow the stew to rest for about 15 mins, then serve with wild rice.
As Effie Trinket would say "May the odds… ever be in your favour!"