Thus far, Summer is a tease. We will have a day - maybe two! - of warmth and sun, only to be plunged back into dreary, muggy, rainy days. I'm craving the flavors of summer - corn, tomatoes, cherries - but the weather calls for different foods. Grrrrr.
The following recipe is a result of wanting a rich and warm dinner, but also lighter summer fare. The results were very pleasant and just fit the bill. The fennel is flavorful and summery, but the warm lamb and cabbage helped combat the cold and dreary day.
When I posted about Lamb Burgers, I mentioned what a difference there is between pastured lamb and cheap lamb. Don't compromise on this. Like most of the meat we eat, our lamb is raised on organic pastures at Deck Family Farm.
This was a slow cooker meal, but with a little time to simmer it would also work well on the stove.
Lamb & Cabbage with Fennel
1 lb Lamb stew chunks
1 tbl. oil or lard
3-4 cups chopped green cabbage
1 fennel bulb
6-8 new potatoes
2-3 cups water
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tbl dried oregano
Salt and pepper
Heat a frying pan and warm the oil. Brown the lamb chunks.
While they are browning, cube the potatoes, and coarsely chop the fennel and cabbage. Layer potatoes, greens, and browned lamb in the slow cooker. Sprinkle the caraway and oregano over the top. Add the water - less for a thicker stew broth, more for a thinner soup broth.
Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Stir once or twice in the last hour or two. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread and a salad.