“Before I can stop him, he’s out in the rain, then handing something in to me. A silver parachute attached to a basket. I rip it open at once and inside there’s a feast– fresh rolls, goat cheese, apples, and best of all, a tureen of that incredible lamb stew on wild rice.”
–The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
No wonder this is Katniss Everdeen’s favorite dish from the Capitol.
The finished stew is thick and gooey, with small melting lumps of lamb, vegetable, and shallot, and the occasional crunch of a slivered almond. The flavor is a complex combination of savory herbs, with an unexpected sweetness imparted by the cooked down plums and the yam. Served over a bed of wild rice, the whole is a hearty, near-divine fictional food experience that absolutely lives up to its reputation.
In keeping with the original excerpt, I paired my stew with apples, rolls, and goat cheese. YOM!
Lamb Stew with Dried Plums Recipe
Prep: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour plus
Makes 4 servings
- Olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the skillet (abt. 3 Tbs)
- 3 shallots, sliced very thin
- 1 medium yam, cubed
- 1kg diced lamb (3-4cm cubes)
- 1/4 cup flour
- salt, black pepper, and paprika or Aleppo pepper to taste
- 1 Tbs. cocoa
- 6-8 prunes, cut up
- 1 1/2 cup red wine
- 1 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
- wild rice, enough for 4
Pour the oil into a large skillet, then add the shallots. Cook over medium heat until they are soft but not brown. Add the diced yam and a splash of water, then cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, or until just soft. Transfer the veggies to a large pot.
In that same skillet, pour in enough olive oil to cover the bottom again. Toss the lamb with flour and spices, then brown in the skillet. Add the browned lamb to the pot, along with the remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for around an hour. As with all stews, the flavors will be better the second day, but you’ll have a tough time not eating it straightaway.
Serve the stew on a bed of wild multigrain rice.