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Portuguese Lamb Stew with Rustic Bread & Potatoes ❦ Ensopado de Borrego com Pão Alentejano e Batatas

A little background on the dish. So it is a classic of the Portuguese kitchen, made across the country, but probably more so in the Alentejo provinces of the south of Portugal. It is said to have been derived from an early Arab dish, called Tharîd .

The Arab influence in the Portuguese south has left its mark. With the exception of tomatoes and potatoes, which came from the "new world" in the 1600's, all of the actual dishes consumed today are made the same way. This dish is known to have been made as far back as the VIII century. I really hope you make this, it is so delicious.


Portuguese Lamb Stew with Rustic Bread & Potatoes ❦ Ensopado de Borrego com Pão Alentejano e Batatas

Serves 4

Marinating time minimum 4 hours and up to overnight

Cook time about 1 hour

800 g. Leg of lamb, boneless trimmed of fat and cut into cubes

8 Medium potatoes, preferably Maris Piper variety, peeled and left whole

120 g. Smoked bacon, cubed

180 ml. Dry white wine

500 ml. Water or chicken stock, store bought of homemade ( I use chicken stock)

Roughly, you need enough to cover the meat by inch

100 ml. White or red wine vinegar, divided

80 ml. Extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. Lard (optional)

1 Large onion, thinly sliced in half moons

6 Cloves of garlic, roughly chopped (roughly 2 tbsp. chopped)

2 Bay leaves, torn in half

1 tbsp. Coarse sea salt

1 tbsp. Sweet paprika, pimentón dulce

1 tsp. Dry marjoram (if you can find fresh use 2 sprigs, and discard before serving)

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Crushed red chilli flakes (optional)

4 Whole cloves

1 Can/tin peeled plum tomatoes undrained and cut into pieces

1 bunch/handful flat leaf parsley chopped

A few sprigs of fresh coriander (optional)

1 Bunch/handful mint

Fresh mint leaves to garnish

4 slices of rustic sourdough bread, lightly toasted and rubbed with a clove of garlic

1. In a large non-metallic bowl, add lamb, salt, garlic, parsley, paprika, 1/2 vinegar, 1/2 the wine, bay leaves and crushed red chilli, if using. Stir to combine well.

Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours and up to overnight.

2. When ready to cook, place a large pot on high heat. Add the 80 ml. extra virgin olive oil, lard and sauté bacon.

Drain lamb from marinade and reserve. Add lamb and brown. Add onion. Stir and let sauté for a few minutes. Add tomatoes and let cook for 1 minute. Add reserved marinade to pot. Place tied parsley and mint bundle* on top, lower heat to a simmer, cover and let stew for 45 minutes.

*Just take 3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley, coriander (if using), and mint. Tie together for easier retrieval later. # (discard after cooking)

3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes. Add potatoes to a large pot of cold and generously salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce heat to medium, cover and continue cooking until potatoes are tender when poked with a knife top. About 30-35 minutes.

Meat should be tender and sweet potatoes cooked through. Drain potatoes and keep warm, by tenting with some foil.

Meat should be ready. Discard parsley and mint bundle along with the bay leaf. Taste and adjust salt and add freshly ground black pepper if you wish. Add remaining vinegar, chopped parsley and fresh mint leaves. Let cook 1 minute more. Turn off heat.

4. Toast the bread and rub each slice with a cut piece of a garlic clove. Place the bread slices in each shallow bowl. Spoon lamb stew on top. Garnish with more fresh mint and serve immediately with the boiled potatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.

Watch me make it Part 1

Part 2


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