Author Notes: This was pretty much a clean out the fridge meal, but it came out better than I'd hoped. I had about 2lbs of leftover lamb, about 1/4 lb of ramps, and a green garlic stalk, all of which were in danger of going off. I figured that it would be better to save the ramps for the end, to keep their sharp flavor from being totally overwhelmed by the stew. The lamb was quite strong tasting, and I wanted to add a lot of sweetness to compensate, which is the rationale for the carmelized onions and tomato paste.
I generally have bacon grease lying around, you could substitue canola oil, and regular garlic would be fine instead of green garlic. The key to the ramp braise is the butter, which allows it to cut through the extreme meatiness of the stew. Use the best you can get your hands on. —cameronp
- 2 pounds leftover lamb
- 2 tablespoons lard or bacon grease (substitute canola oil)
- 2 medium onions thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons green garlic, minced (substitute regular garlic, but reduce by half)
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 small carrots, chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
- 3 dashes worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 5 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a heavy pot, over medium-high heat, add lard or canola. When oil is hot, add onions, and stir to coat. Reduce heat to low.
- Cook slowly for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and scraping any brown bits that appear.
- When onions are nicely carmelized, add garlic, and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant, then add carrots and celery.
- Cook until celery has softened. Add lamb, and cook stirring for 3-5 minutes until lamb starts to brown, and is well coated.
- Deglaze pan with 1 cup chicken stock, then add remaining stock to cover by an inch.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Add tomato paste and worcestershire sauce. Taste, and correct for salt and pepper.
- Simmer for at least an hour. Add potatoes 30-40 minutes before serving.
- Serve in individual bowls, with a good dollop of the ramp and butter garnish.
Quick braised ramp garnish
- 1/4 cup ramp ends, finely chopped.
- 2 cups ramp leaves chopped into 1 inch strips
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a saute pan, over medium-high heat, cook butter until it foams.
- Add ramp ends, and saute until they begin to brown and become aromatic
- Add Ramp leaves, and stir to coat, cooking until they begin to wilt.
- Sprinkle paprika, salt, and pepper over all, and stir to coat.
- Add water, bring to a boil, stirring, and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes, until leaves are tender.