Lamb and Quinoa Stew

This recipe is a special request from my dear friend Jen who has been so enthusiastic over the years about my cooking that it was a big encouragement to start the LAB kitchen.

Jen has a bag of quinoa like my bag of lentils: something bought and then forgotten at the back of the pantry. I was asked to come up with a recipe to use quinoa which I was more than happy to do as quinoa is not neglected but much loved in my house.

One of my favourite quinoa recipes is a corn and quinoa salad from Rebar, but I wanted to do something a bit different with quinoa and the weather was cooling as we head into Winter in Australia. So I have made a quinoa and lamb stew.

The quinoa, like barley or potato in other stews, adds some body and absorbs all the beautiful flavours in the pot. Quinoa also contributes a slightly nutty flavour and another source of protein. This would be a perfect dish to throw in a slow cooker in the morning so you can come home to a hearty home-cooked warming dinner.

I will definitely be using quinoa in stews again after this experiment

I guess this means I’m taking requests for recipes, so feel free to make requests and I’ll see what I can do!

Lamb and Quinoa Stew
Serves 6-8, 20 minutes preparation plus 1 (or more – for deeper flavour) hours cooking

500 gms to 1 kg of diced lamb (depending on how meaty you want the stew) – this would also be good with lamb shanks
2 tbs of flour
2 tsp of salt (Rosemary salt is best)
2 small onions, diced
4 carrots, diced
4 sticks of celery, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Herbs – I like thyme and rosemary
800 gm can of diced tomatoes
1 ½ cups of quinoa
3 cups of liquid – either all stock or half stock and half red wine
Extra vegetables if desired – like mushrooms, beans, zucchini, eggplant
Oil, a few tablespoons
Salt and pepper to taste

A little fat on the lamb is good for flavour in a stew

Lightly coat your lamb in flour and salt.

Nice and brown – K liked the smell

In a large heavy pot, fry the lamb in a little oil until browned, this adds great flavour to the dish. The early stages of a stew – browning the meat, frying the vegies, then simmering – is about building layers of flavour and depth into the final dish.

The first round of additions

Most recipes recommend removing the lamb and then frying the onion, celery and carrot, but let’s be honest with each other, that’s too much hassle. So I added the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the pot with the lamb, so sue me convention. Cook until the vegetables go slightly translucent.

Building in more flavour layers

Add the herbs, tomatoes any extra vegetables that need a longer cooking time (I had mushrooms) and enough liquid to cover the meat and vegetables. Place the lid on the pot and simmer for at least half an hour, if you can leave it to cook for up to 1.5 hours that would be better.

Stir this in well so all the quinoa cooks evenly

Half an hour before you want to serve, add the quinoa and remaining liquid, plus any shorter cooking time vegetables you want to add. I added zucchini and beans, next time I’d probably just serve them steamed on the side. Simmer for 20 minutes and then turn off the stove and let the pot cool a little with the lid on for 10 minutes.

Tasty, healthy and hearty

Serve with crusty fresh bread. This stew was delicious the next day when the quinoa had absorbed even more flavour.

This entry was posted in Healthy and Tasty, Main Dishes, Meat. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Lamb and Quinoa Stew

  1. Laura says:

    Yum! I’m sad to say I’ve never cooked lamb. This looks delightful, I am eager to try it.

    • I must say, it was better than I expected and actually turned out completely delicious.
      Lamb is great for stews, especially if you like meat in moderation because it is more mild than beef. I can’t believe you’ve never cooked with it, although I believe it’s much less common in America.

      • Laura says:

        I believe it is less common, I don’t even think my local grocer carries lamb, probably need to go to a butcher. I am excited to try it!

  2. Sara Shaw says:

    Sounds wonderful, and I am going to try it tonight. Thank you. Although I must point out my lamb is leftover from yesterdays roast, so I presume my cooking time will be less?

  3. I was raised on lamb in northern California. Not sure how common that was, but I love lamb. I also love quinoa. Both are very healthy. I happen to run across your recipe that included both and tried it. Yumm! It was great! Thank you. Debbie P.

  4. Zina says:

    I made this last night in the slow cooker and it turned out yum – thank you for the recipe.

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