Here’s a way to make a tasty stew. This recipe was originally given to me from Jon Fowler.
1.5-3 lbs lamb or beef, cubed into roughly 1? chunks, salt and peppered
and refrigerated overnight or as long as possible
one onion, diced
a few garlic cloves, crushed and diced
root vegetables if you want them, chopped into fairly large chunks
raisins, apricots, and/or other dried fruit–maybe a total of 1 cup
minced ginger–about an inch of a skinned root or a tablespoon or the
1/2 tsp cinnamon or one stick
about 3/4 cup red wine
one juiced orange
other spices like parsley, rosemary (available wild all over Berkeley),
marjoram are good.
Heat the pan with a thin layer of oil on the bottom over medium high heat. Put in the meat to sear. It is really important to do this right: the meat must be placed with a little bit of space between pieces, not just poured in, because you want to sear the meat, not steam it–often you end up having to sear the meat in two or three batches. Turn the meat with prongs or a fork to sear on all sides; this typically takes about four minutes per batch (Unless you want to make this right away, you may want to watch someone do it right before attempting it yourself.)
Remove the meat from the pan, pour off excess froth, and saute onions and garlic until semi-translucent, 2-3 minutes. Put the meat back in, deglaze the pan with the wine (turn heat on high for a few seconds, pour in the wine, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to take up the seared bits), then add all the other ingredients and cover. If you’re doing this in a pressure cooker, seal the cooker, bring the pot to it’s high pressure mark (80 kPa gauge pressure), stabilize the pressure (medium to medium low heat usually suffices), then cook for about 20 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool naturally until pressure valve is released. In a regular pan, cover the pot, reduce temp to low, and simmer for at least 2 hours, checking every half hour or so whether there is adequate liquid and topping off with broth or water.