"Don't let the list of ingredients scare you off, the spices add great flavor to the meat and this Lamb Vindaloo Stew is really easy to make. Once you add all the spices. Many "spice stores" now sell prepared Vindaloo spice mixes, but if you have what you need on hand, it's just as easy to make it yourself, and to your taste."
The Story Behind - Lamb Vindaloo Stew
"What's for dinner?"
"What do you plan to make tonight?"
Ugggg....sometimes I hate this question.
Why? Sometimes I feel as if I've already made everything. There is no more food left to make. There is no recipe I wish to pursue. Put a fork in me, I'm done!
But only for a moment; and then my brain starts working. Filtering.
When that question was asked of me last Sunday, my answer was "Nothing, I'm not cooking, I'm not eating."
"Seriously," asked my husband.
Although he has NEVER EVER said no to me when I truly feel like I don't want to cook and would prefer a pizza or dinner out, it was Sunday...we had just been to two business dinners out in a row...and well...o.k. so let me go see what I have.
Lamb stew meat.
That's what I had in the freezer. And all these beautiful HOT peppers, carrots, and fresh tomatoes are in the garden. So what should I do with them?
Lamb Vindaloo Stew.
I loved the flavors of my Chicken Vindaloo sooooooo much, that I thought...why not?
Why not with lamb (if not a fan of lamb, use beef). But with the richness of the lamb, I wanted to do more.
My Lamb Vindaloo Stew is a combination of the spices that I used in my Chicken Vindaloo, but instead of dried I used fresh hot peppers. I also diced fresh tomatoes instead of using canned and added some fresh diced carrot, peas (frozen as my fresh were done a while ago), and just a touch of coconut milk.
And it was YUM!
How about those peppers?
The peppers I used were hot Portugal peppers along with Serrano. Hot Portugal peppers are HOT. And so is Serrano. But the Portugal peppers have Serrano peppers beat on the Scoville scale.
What is the Scoville Scale?
In 1912 a chemist, Wilbur Scoville, who worked for the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company, developed a method to measure the heat level of chile peppers.
It was a dilution taste procedure where blended pure ground chiles were mixed with sugar-water and a panel of "testers" then sipped the solution, in increasingly diluted concentrations, until they reached the point that the liquid no longer burned their mouths.
A number was then assigned to each chile pepper based on how much it needed to be diluted before it could no longer be tasted or the heat is felt.
A Serrano has a Scoville rank of about 8,000 - 23,000, a Portugal pepper can go as high as 30,000 or as low as 5,000 on the scale.
Flavorful mouth burn if you are not careful (a big reason that LindySez always says to taste your peppers first before adding it to the pot, so you know how HOT it is).
And of course, always remember, the membranes and seeds are the HOTTEST part, so if the tip is hot...do not add the seeds too.
In this new recipe for Lamb Vindaloo stew, I used two whole Portugal peppers, and two Serrano peppers, with only the seeds from one Serrano in place of the six dried chilies I used in Chicken Vindaloo.
It was spicy, but not overly hot.
Ways to cook Lamb Vindaloo
I cooked my lamb vindaloo stew in a pressure cooker, but you don't have to. The directions include both pressure cooking instructions and just plain old stove-top. I did not do a crock-pot version, but as many of you know, I'm not a big fan. So if you feel like experimenting with that, and are confident in your abilities with the slow cooker, then go for it.
However you cook it, your mouth will say thank you!
The Wine Recommendation
Now that I've done my part, coming up with the dinner and all; it's time for the HUBS
"What are you going to serve with this?" I ask
"UGGGGG, I hate it when you make these complex hard to pair with dinners" he responds.
While the chicken vindaloo went lovely with an off-dry Riesling, this Lamb Vindaloo Stew was deeper, richer, and had lamb in it. He finally chose a Garnacha; a Spanish wine that is fruit-forward and not too "hearty" or high in alcohol. He did good! It was perfect.
Lamb Vindaloo Stew
- Blender or
- 1 pound lamb stew meat well-trimmed of all fat
- 1 large onion half in a rough chop, half diced, separated
- 4 large cloves garlic rough chopped
- 1 1-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- 4 - 5 hot peppers chopped (fresh if you have them, I used 2 Portugal peppers and 2 Serrano peppers, but you could use all Serrano, or some Jalapeño and Serrano ) or dried red chilies, stemmed and seeded
- 1 teaspoon ground clove
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam marsala
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee or unsalted butter
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
- ½ cup diced fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups cubed potato I like to use a waxy potato such as red bliss or Yukon gold
- ½ cup diced carrot
- ½ cup fresh or frozen peas
- ½ cup coconut milk or yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh chopped cilantro if desired for garnish
- Prepare the marinade: In your blender or food processor, combine the roughly chopped onion along with the garlic, ginger, and chilies. Pulse until finely chopped. Add the spices along with the vinegar; process until it is a fairly smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Place the lamb into a zip-top bag and add the marinade, smooching it around so all the meat is coated. Remove as much air from the bag as possible and marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or more; up to 8 hours.
- When ready to cook; heat a pot or your pressure cooker over medium heat, when hot add the oil and ghee or butter; once melted and hot, add the diced onions along with a pinch of salt; cook until just beginning to brown around the edges, 5 - 7 minutes. Add the lamb along with the marinade and cook for 5 minutes, stirring it around; then add the chicken stock and the tomatoes; stir and bring to a simmer. If using the pressure cooker, cover and bring to pressure; lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. If using a regular pot, cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour, or until the lamb is tender. If using the pressure cooker; after 20 minutes, use the quick release method (put the pot under cold running water) remove the top and add the potatoes and carrots; replace the top and bring to pressure, cook for 10 minutes. If using a regular pot, uncover, add the potatoes and carrots and cook, for about 20 minutes or until tender. NOW, no matter the pan, release the pressure or uncover the pan and add the peas and coconut milk. Stir well and simmer for a few minutes. If the sauce is too thin, either simmer it until it reduces to the consistency you like OR slowly stir in a slurry of cornstarch (about 1 - 2 teaspoons) mixed with chicken stock or water, until thickened. Serve with cilantro sprinkled on top, if desired.
- I served this with some steamed basmati rice that I mixed some toasted whole cumin seeds and sunflower seeds into. YUM!