30 December 2008

Living On The Lamb

In celebration of a new shipment of Malbecs at my local wine shop, The Blackbird, I chose to concoct a Goulash that would compliment best, the Argentine variety of the grape.  I chose a bottle of Carlos Pulenta's VISTALBA CORTE C MALBEC 2005.  

This Mendozan vineyard is located at the foot of the Cordon del Plata in the center of the Lujande Cuyo region within the Andes Mountains.  

It is a beautiful place, and I have fond memories of riding my 1973 MotoGuzzi Eldorado through there years ago.  It was my favourite part of a journey that ended appropriately with my leaving my broken down, road killed motorbike in Qaxaca, and hitchhiking back to the Northwest, living on Tasajo and stolen Oranges along the way. 

The following recipe is perfect for serving a large family or guests during all this Holiday fanfare.  It is affordable, and showcases the wine's intense aroma of red and dried fruit with an exceptional transformation in the glass, not unlike peppered eucalyptus bark with an incredibly upholding, long finish.

Hungarian Lamb Stew  (Goulash)

3 slices thick Bacon, chopped roughly
2.5 lbs. Lamb Stew Meat
1 cup good strong coffee, room temperature
Sea Salt
1 t. White Pepper
2 medium Yellow Onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves Garlic, smashed and chopped
2 T. Hot Smoked Hungarian Paprika (not Sweet)
1 t. Caraway Seeds
1 Green Pepper, sliced in 1/4" strips
1 Red Pepper, sliced in 1/4" strips
1 lb. small white potatoes, peeled if desired (I don't)
1 large Beefsteak or other large Tomato
1 cup, plus additional Water

Soak the Lamb meat in coffee for a minimum of 4 and up to 8 hours in refrigerator.  Drain meat in a colander, gently squeezing out excess coffee and pat dry. 
Lightly dust with flour and season with Sea Salt and White Pepper.  Allow to rest at room temperature, covering with a kitchen towel.
Cook Bacon in a Large Dutch Oven until beginning to crisp. Remove to a towel lined plate, reserving drippings in pan.
Add onions and sauté until tender and beginning to caramelize. Remove to a plate.
In the same pan, add Lamb in small batches, and brown on all sides, removing as necessary until all meat is done.
Return all the Lamb, the Bacon, the Onions, and add Paprika, some more Sea Salt, Caraway, Garlic, and 1/2 of each pepper.
Add 1 cup of Water and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until all is tender and happy inside, adding additional Water 1/4 cup at a time if needed.
Stir in remaining Peppers and Potatoes and continue to simmer 20 minutes longer.
Add Tomatoes and cook 10 to 20 minutes longer, or until incorporated.
Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve.

Serves 6 to 8.

¡Disfrute de usted mismo!

Érezd jól magad!

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