Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Best Damn Indian Lamb Stew – EVER!!!

That’s right, foodies!  Tonite was the first nite of our Cuisine Across Cultures class at LCB, and we got off to… an auspicious start!

This class is ingredient-oriented, rather than culture-oriented.  What this means is that, each night we focus on a particular ingredient and visit how different cultures will use that ingredient in their cuisine.  Tonight was easy: rice.  We did a Spanish Paella, a Chinese Yangzhou Chau Fan, and an Indian Gosht Pulao.

Cheryl stir-fries while Ron preps paella

We broke into groups of about four and covered each recipe.  Our team made the Chinese stir-fry, which was really pretty easy.  We made a delicious marinade of soy sauce, rice wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar.  I broke down some pork into small bite-sized chunks and we marinated that for about half an hour.  We then roasted those on a pan in the oven to save time stir-frying it later.  We got the wok goin’, then did the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, shrimp, then the pork, rice and scallions on top.

Our super-delicious pork & shrimp stir-fry

Another group did the paella, which definitely scored high points with both our chef instructors and the rest of the class.  The star of the night, though, was definitely the Gosht Pulao, which is a braised lamb stew.

Yes, it really is the best dang Indian lamb stew EVER!!!

It may not look like much, but this stuff was freakin’ DELICIOUS!  The lamb was diced and marinated in such spices as cumin, cayenne and turmeric.  The group then got some ghee heated in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan and toasted a whole cinnamon stick, some cardamom pods and cloves.  They then added in sliced onions, garlic and ginger.  I walked past and Mark grabbed my shoulder, beckoning me over.  I just stuck my face over the pan and breathed deeply…  sigh!

Next they added in some coriander, nutmeg and black pepper, topping it all off with some diced tomato and a few bay leaves.  In went a quart of water and the marinated lamb, and they covered and simmered that mixture for a good hour until the lamb was nice and tender and the flavors were well infused.

They finally topped it off with a big ol’ pile of basmati rice and let that simmer just enough for the rice to cook through.  They served it… and the whole class just about fell over!  We were beside ourselves.  We’d all had the other items already and were feeling pretty full.  But it seems we saved the best for last and we cleaned that whole pan of stew in ten minutes flat.

This is going to be an awesome class.  Tomorrow night we’re making sushi!  Later on we’ll make arepas, pad thai, and pierogies!  Tamales, fried cassava chips, tapioca cake, a lamb tagine, sake no miso, falafel, hummus, duck confit, mole, jerk…!  And we’re making some crazy stuff I never heard of like Gaeng Ped Hoi Mang Phu, Smodampete Nypoteter, Aloo Partha, and Bang Bang Ji Si…  ?!?!

I’m tellin’ ya, this class alone is worth the price of admission…  peace out, and Namaste.

No comments:

Post a Comment