Lamb and barley are a classic. Avoid the more expensive cuts; lamb shanks and even lamb neck bones flavor and thicken the stew.
- Preliminaries Trim excessive fat from the lamb.
- Heat pan And decide what the fat will be: olive oil, or a combo of butter, bacon or nearly any other fat and/or oil.
- Heat oil And start to rummage for the veggies.
- Brown lamb And chop the onion and garlic.
- Sauté onion and garlic As usual, the onion is first. Saute till translucent (or till browned.) Then the garlic. While those are cooking, chop carrots and tomatoes (canned or fresh). Other suggestions: mushrooms and sweet peppers.
- Sauté veggies, spices If the lamb doesn’t look so “young and tender”, delay adding the veggies till after step 8 but if the carrot are also a bit older and thick, they can be tossed in now. Otherwise, sauté the veggies in the usual hardest to softest order. Traditional spices: sage, marjoram, cumin, thyme, mint, parsley and/or pepper.
- Add the wet ingredients 1/2 cup of red wine, tomatoes, beef broth and/or water. Use enough to generously cover the ingredients so far plus 1/2 inch.
- Add back lamb, simmer If the lamb needs longer cooking time to become tender, keep adding broth or water as often as needed. Prepare the garnishes: chop parsley.
- Add garnish, serve Serve over couscous, noodles, boiled pototoes or with fresh bread.