Friday, July 13, 2012

Daring Cooks July Challenge: Lamb Stew 'en Papillote'

After taking a 'Daring' break for over a year I am back and happy to be stretching my skills and taste buds for a new challenge. Starting back this month there was a great technique I had only heard of, but have never tried.

Have you ever cooked 'en Papillote'?

Pronounced, pah-pee-YOHT, it is French for in parchment. This month's challenge comes from Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie. Thank you Sarah for the nudge to try this new and fun way of cooking. It was delicious!

One of my new favorite meats is lamb. When I was searching for inspiration for this challenge meal, I found many things that sounded delicious, but knew I had a winner when I found this Lamb Stew over Couscous. The stew is mostly cooked in a pot and the final melding of flavors occurs en papillote.

I love the colors and spices used in this recipes... cinnamon, coriander, cumin... all healthy and made my kitchen smell amazing!

Now, I won't pretend like I am an expert at folding the parchment. My folds were a mess! But, luckily they were good enough to keep everything inside and finish steaming the meat and veggies.

So here you go,

Lamb Stew with Couscous 'en Papillote'

You Will Need:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1  can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 carrots, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup drained chickpeas
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. couscous

In a pot or cast iron skillet, heat up the oil and brown the meat in two batches. Then add the onions and let them soften.

Move these to a stock pot and add the spices. Let this warm through. Then add the tomatoes, and stock.

Let this simmer for 35 minutes. Then add the vegetables and chickpeas. Let this simmer for another 15 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bring the water and butter up to a boil. Add the couscous, turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Prepare parchment packets from 12" x 18" sheets. Place 3/4 c. of couscous into the center of the parchment paper. With a slotted spoon place about 1 cup of stew on top of the couscous. Starting on one end of the packet, fold the parchment paper over to keep it secure. Place on a jelly roll pan to prevent spilling or leaking.

Bake for about 30 minutes and serve the entire packet on the plate. Enjoy!

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