Recipe: Lamb and Freekeh Stew
This week’s recipe is from Berkshire-based duo The Butcher & The Baker. The Butcher is Jake, a nose-to-tail butcher/artist, who loves to cook and grew up in the woody hills of Western Massachusetts where his passion for local, fresh food was first instilled in him. The Baker is Silka, a designer/crafter who loves to bake and grew up in rural Western New York where her parents are candlestick makers. Together they spend most of their time talking about, shopping for, making, and eating food. By sourcing locally and sustainably, and spending time with the producers of their food, they’ve learned that every meal tells a story.
To stay warm and cozy through the winter months, we cook up a batch of hearty soup or stew almost every Sunday. A big pot keeps us full all through the week, and then some! As per usual, we tend towards earthy flavors, pairing local proteins with their perfect grain counterparts.
This week we stopped by Kinderhook Farm in Ghent, NY to stock up on grass-fed lamb, and some beautiful cubed shoulder caught our eyes. Immediately we thought of one of our favorite grains, freekeh, singing out to us from our pantry shelves. Freekeh, very similar to farro and hearty wild rices, is most popular in the Mediterranean and Middle East. So we’re very lucky that both Cayuga Pure Organics of New York’s Finger Lakes and Wild Hive Farm in Clinton Corners, NY grow wonderful options available locally. To match the robust flavor of the grain, we threw in some Crimini mushrooms and homemade chicken stock, along with Red Fire Farm carrots, parsnips and leeks, and some collards from the Berkshire Co-op Market.
Within hours we were sitting fireside, enjoying a simple, and almost entirely local, meal. And while a stew like this really could stand just fine on its own, it paired wonderfully with a loaf of Berkshire Mountain Bakery bread smothered in Monterey Chevre!
Lamb and Freekeh Stew
1.5 pounds of cubed lamb (cut from the shoulder)
1 pound of freekeh
4 cups of chicken stock
1 pound of Crimini mushrooms, cut into ¼-in slices
2 carrots, cut into ¼-in slices
2 parsnips, cut into ¼-in slices
4 medium sized leeks, cut up into ¼-inch slices
1 bunch of collards, sliced into ribbons
1 cup of flour
½ cup salt
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1. On a large plate mix salt and flour. Coat the lamb cubes in the mixture.
2. In a heavy pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the lamb in batches, a few minutes on each side.
3. Meanwhile chop up your veggies. When all the lamb is browned, put in a bowl and set aside. Add the carrots, parsnips and leeks to the pot.
4. When the veggies in the pan begin to soften and brown, add the mushrooms. Saute until the mushrooms start to brown and become fragrant, then add the stock and the lamb and bring to a simmer. Cover.
5. After a half hour, rinse the freekeh a few times like you would rice and add to pot. Bring back to a boil and turn down to a steady simmer. Cover.
6. After another half hour add greens. Cover and simmer for half hour. Serve.