At rustic southern Italian restaurant Convivio, tucked away in Manhattanâ€™s Tudor City neighborhood, chef Michael White has mastered the richly flavored dishes of Italia. Here, he boiled down the prodigious task of big-city cheffing to fit the average slow cooker: His distinctly Italian take on lamb stew incorporates an imperial stout from Italy and healthy portions of rosemary, bay leaves and fresh ground pepper.
- 2 pounds well-trimmed lamb stew meat, cut into
- 1Â˝-inch cubes
- 2 cups Birrificio del Ducato Verdi Imperial Stout
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 medium-large yellow onions, chopped
- 2 large carrots, chopped
- 2 large celery ribs, chopped
- 1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- ÂĽ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- peperoncinis, to taste
• Season the lamb with salt and pepper, turning to coat evenly, then repeat with the flour, patting to remove any excess. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
• When the oil is very hot, slowly add the pieces of meat in a single layer so the oil remains hot and sizzles with each addition. Cook the lamb on all sides, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Work in batches so as not to crowd the pan, and remove the browned meat to a bowl.
• Add the onions, carrots and celery to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt and pepper, and add peperoncinis. Add the garlic and tomato paste and let caramelize for 1 to 2 minutes; deglaze the pan with imperial stout, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
• Pour the beer and vegetable mixture into a crock pot, and add the browned lamb along with the rosemary, bay leaves and chicken stock. Cover and cook on high for 7 hours, or until lamb is very tender, and serve.