Lamb and Bulgur Stew

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Many of you are going to stop reading right now, because you’re thinking, lamb? bulgur? How am I supposed to find these ingredients? I will help you out on this because this dish is so delicious. It’s a balanced meal made in one pot.

First, the lamb. Just find it. I get my ground lamb from the butcher counter at Whole Foods, but I’ve bought it pre-packaged in the regular old grocery store as well. Lamb is what makes this dish interesting.

Bulgur can be a little trickier to find. So here are four options:

1) I look at the Whole Foods bulk bins and find something that looks reasonably close to bulgur. This is what I used – buckwheat groats. Is that bulgur? I have no idea.

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2) Buy a box of tabouli and just use the grain (not the spice packet). You can find tabouli either with the Middle Eastern foods or the rice aisle. Tabouli is bulgur.

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3) Trader Joe’s carries 10-minute bulgur. I haven’t tried it, but I tried the 10-minute barley and it was fine.

4) Substitute another grain, like quinoa or Israeli couscous.

Now that you have no excuses, on to the recipe.

Lamb and Bulgur Stew, adapted from marthastewart.com

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 2/3 c. bulgur
  • red pepper flakes (a couple shakes)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 t. paprika (sweet or smoked)
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 2/3 c. feta cheese
  • 1 T. (or more) fresh oregano

Instructions:

1) Chop the onion. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to soften.

2) Add the lamb, bulgur, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until lamb is no longer pink. Add paprika and cook for another minute.

3) Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer at low heat for 25 minutes.

4) Rinse and drain the cannellini beans. Chop the oregano. The oregano gives this dish a fresh flavor, so use a lot.

5) After the stew has simmered for 25 minutes, add beans and spinach. After the spinach has wilted and there’s room in the pot, add the feta and oregano and cook until the feta melts into the dish. This whole step will only take about a minute or two.

Serve. Feel virtuous about combining an ancient grain, a leafy green, a legume, an antioxidant-rich fruit (tomato’s a fruit, right?), and a protein into a one-pot meal.

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2 thoughts on “Lamb and Bulgur Stew

  1. Buckwheat groats is gluten free, not wheat-related at all in spite of its name. I love buckwheat! (http://cookupastory.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/kasha-falling-star-put-it-in-your-pocket/).

    Bulgar is made from whole wheat, “by soaking and cooking the whole wheat kernel, drying it and then removing part of the bran and cracking the remaining kernel into small pieces. It absorbs twice its volume in water and can be used in place of rice in any recipe. Bulgar is convenient since it can be either soaked in water or cooked to be edible. It has the same nutritive value as whole wheat.”

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