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Silk-Weavers Lamb with Roasted Santa Fe Garlic ~ La Puebla Classic Comfort Food

October 25, 2010

Farmers Market Garlic
Santa Fe, New Mexico
August 2010
Karen Rivera

This is another one of my long term favorite winter and fall recipes. I’ve got it scrawled on on a stained piece of paper. I’ve never met David Henkel of northern New Mexico, the legendary creator of this dish, but every time I make it, I thank him. I’ve made a few changes over the years but he’d still recognize it if he ran into it at a New Mexican potluck.

When I lived in Albuquerque, you could buy freshly butchered lamb in the South Valley. It’s worth finding a good source for lamb just to make this exotic stew. The only time I’ve ever had enough to freeze was when I lucked out and ended up with 20 # of fresh lamb. If you’re not in the mood to go to the trouble of boning out a couple of legs of lamb, you can buy boneless legs and go the easy route. If you are looking for a more traditional New Mexican lamb stew, this Olla from the 1940’s might fit the bill.

This is a strange dish to make. Don’t worry. It will turn out wonderful. It’s yummy made with buffalo or elk as well.

Serve with brown basmati or weihani rice, bulbs of roasted garlic and a salad with some bitter greens. I make a big batch of chutney every year with Dixon apples and hot green chile that goes perfectly with this.

Silk-Weavers Lamb

4 pounds lamb (from leg), sliced or cubed
1 c. yogurt
1/2 c. grated yellow onions
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
4 c. homemade chicken stock
8 large cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. coarse grind peppers
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp coriander
1/2 grated fresh coconut or moist unsweetened coconut
3 TBL grapeseed oil
1 large sliced yellow onion
4 tsp. fennel seed

Fresh lime wedges
Chopped fresh cilantro
Toasted sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl, combine lamb with yogurt, cloves and grated onion. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In a large heavy pan, put chicken stock, garlic, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, coriander and coconut. Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes.

In a heavy deep kettle, fry fennel seeds and sliced onion in the grapeseed oil until crisp. Don’t let it burn or the fennel will be bitter. Add the lamb-yogurt mixture and continue frying until the meat separates fromt he yougurt about 10 or 15 minutes.

Add the stock mixture. Cover and and let simmer until the liquid is reduced to half and the lamb is tender, about 2 hours.

To serve, spoon into a shallow dish and squeeze lime juice on top. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and toasted sliced almonds.

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