With thanks to Jamie Oliver – this is basically his very easy multi-purpose stew recipe (doubled and tweaked) from The Ministry of Food / Jamie’s Food Revolution, depending on which side the Atlantic is on when you look out the window. Still no chocolate involved, I am well aware. But will wine do? Because this was easy and delicious, and made the apartment smell amazing. Look away, vegetarians (sorry!)
There is really minimal prep involved here. Preheat the oven to 375°, or the equivalent in new money. Peel and chop 3-4 large carrots, 3 medium onions, and 3-4 ribs of celery. Throw them in a Dutch oven or casserole dish with what Jamie calls ‘two lugs’ olive oil and a generous sprinkling of fresh thyme (and/or rosemary).
Cook everything together on the stove top for about ten minutes, then add your meat. We used two pounds lamb, ready chopped by Trade Fair’s Halal butcher.
Add the meat to the pot along with 2tbsp flour and stir everything together well.
Finally, add 3-4 cups red wine and a 28-oz can chopped tomatoes (we used Muir Glen organic fire-roasted tomatoes because they were on sale, which turned out to be extra-delicious, so I’d recommend those if you can get them or something similar.) Season the stew and place in the oven for approximately two and a half hours, checking and stirring occasionally.
Serve with mashed potatoes and lightly steamed green veggies of some kind – Napa, Savoy or green cabbage, lightly seasoned and buttered. Pile up, dish up, and loosen belts.