A frugal, and local, dinner idea for Torontonians.

A dish that I make every few weeks, without fail, is a simple lamb stew in the dutch oven. It’s cheap, tasty and local, so there is an abundance of reasons why this is a great dinner.

Fiesta Farms, my local supermarket, stocks fresh Ontario lamb stew meat at their meat counter. It’s left over bits and pieces, admittedly mostly bone, but it packs loads of flavor and is ridiculously cheap. I recently picked up three packs at about $1 per pound! One 400g pack is good for a dinner for 2, so I just stick them in the freezer. I also picked up a bag of Ontario carrots at 99 cents at PAT supermarket, and a $1.29 bag of Ontario parsnips at the vegetable stand across the street at Bloor and Manning. I had garlic and a red onion lying around, plus half a bottle of red which was slightly off, and some left-over rosemary (I usually use dried, but for once I had some fresh lying around). That’s all there I needed!

How do you do it?

Chop 2-3 carrots, 2 parsnips and one medium or half a big red onion in chunks. Preheat oven to 160C. In the dutch oven on the stovetop, brown the lamb bits for a few minutes. Set lamb aside, and deglace the pan with a healthy glug of red wine. Add garlic and chopped rosemary and some salt and pepper. Layer lamb and vegetables, and add a bit of water or stock (depending on how generous you were with the wine). Pop the lid on and bake for anywhere from 1.5-2.5 hours. 1.5 should be enough. You want it all to be falling apart off the bone etc. You might want to check that it doesn’t dry up at some point and add more wine or water if it looks like it is.

It’s an extremely forgiving “recipe” which does not require any kind of measurements. Just throw it all in there and slow-roast it in the dutch oven and it will all come together.

Serve with boiled potatoes, or even just on its own, depending on how hungry you are. It’s kind of greasy and with lots and lots of delicious, deep flavor from the lamb and the red wine. The parsnips, in particular, are amazing once they have soaked up all the loveliness.

Dinner for 2, for about $2-3, and almost all out of Ontario!

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2 responses to “A frugal, and local, dinner idea for Torontonians.

  1. This sounds delicious, and so easy too. I really wish I had a dutch oven…

  2. It’s highly recommended! They have started selling them quite reasonably in IKEA now. I got this KitchenAid one on sale in Canadian Tire, a big hardware store, for $40. Good size for 2 people too. One day I shall graduate to a Creuset…

    I use it all the time for all kinds of things!

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