Monday, January 19, 2009

Stew & the slooooow cooker

Got ten minutes? Great. Then, you've got time to make a fabulous stew. I'm totally serious. All you need is a slow cooker and the confidence to let the cooker do the work for you. And if you've got nerves of steel, leave the house while it's on. I know, I know. That's what they're built for, but I'm a nervous nellie and I don't even leave lights on when I'm heading out the door. But I know YOU can do it. You're probably a lot less anxious than me.

Anyhoo, getting back to this fantastic stew from Weight Watchers. All you need is this:

Middle Eastern Lamb Stew (for the slow cooker) from Weight Watchers


1 pound(s) lean leg of lamb, stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup(s) canned beef broth
1 large onion(s), chopped
1 large garlic clove(s), minced
14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
15 oz canned chickpeas
2 tsp ginger root, freshly grated
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Place lamb in a 5-quart slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients (add a pinch of saffron threads to tint stew orange & enhance taste), except lemon juice; stir well. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 7 to 8 hours. Stir in lemon juice and let stand for 5 minutes for flavors to blend.

Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving. Each serving is 6 WW points.

  • Seriously, the hardest part of this recipe was finding the stew meat. And that wasn't even so bad. I didn't see it out with the rest of the meat at the grocery store, so I just rang the bell for the butcher (insert visual of "Sam the Butcher" from the Brady Bunch) and he brought out a package from the back of the kitchen. He pointed out to me that some stew meat is "marbelized" with fat and that I should use meat that I can trim. Because getting fat out of marbelized meat is impossible. So pick wisely when you have choices.
  • If you don't have a microplane like me, then you easily pick up minced ginger (near the jars of minced garlic) in the produce section.
  • When you have a moment, check out I buy most of my spices there and I'm lucky to have a store nearby. But the majority of their customers buy online or through their catalog. I mention this because I truly believe that their cinnamon is superior to anything I've ever had before. And believe me, the scent of that cinnamon through the house while your cooking this stew is worth the price of admission.
  • For those of you following the Weight Watchers program, 1 1/2 cups of this stew is incredibly filling for 6 points. And the flavor is to die for. I can't wait for you to try it and let me know what you think.

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