Saturday, 18 January 2020

Ensopado de borrego Alentejano

I dont know what happened last year.I lost my way,it was like my giddy joie de vivre had been ripped right out of me and I was having a terrible time finding it again.However come October and It was truly amazing what magic, connubials can conjure.Come New year, and my goodness, my system is in equilibrium and has been restored with a vengeance and a Portuguese lamb stew, awakening the tastebuds and bringing me back to the land of the living.With a big trumpet fanfare my Portuguese periplus* continues, circumnavigating my way through the nations colder months and comforting array of regional foods.... Ensopados,feijoadas, chanfanas, guisados,whats not to like? While cold weather continues,scattered rain showers come and go this is the month that prepares us, like Glenn Miller´s famed theme, to get "in the mood" for the coming season.Temperatures have risen slightly and whenever I walk outside that cold north wind that was playing carousels with the fallen leaves and my new blowy hairdo has abated.
So before we pack away our casseroles and bowls of broth its one last chance to make Ensopado de borrego ( Lamb stew ).This classic dish plays an important part in the Alentejo´s traditional recipes although it varies slightly from farm to farm or family to family.
Bom apetite! Um abraço gastronómico.
Enjoy your meal! A gastronomic hug.


Ensopado de borrego( lamb stew )
2 kg of lamb quarters from shoulder, breast,neck and chops cut into pieces
125g of lard
3 onions sliced ​​half moon

1 stick celery,chopped
1 carrot chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves cut in half
1 sprig of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon white peppercorns
1 chili sliced
2 tbsp paprika
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon plain flour
125 ml of white wine vinegar
Slices of grilled artesan bread


Season the lamb with salt.
Add the paprika, garlic, flour, chilli and peppercorns.
Mix everything very well.
In a clay pot, heat the lard and bay leaves.
Let it warm very well.
When the lard is hot, add the lamb and fry until the meat is colored.
Stir from time to time so that the meat cooks evenly.
After the blond meat, add the cloves, onion and chopped parsley.
Mix it all up.
Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, stir again.
Drizzle with vinegar and add approximately 800 ml of boiling water, enough to cover the meat.
Cover and cook over medium heat approximately 40 minutes.
When the meat is cooked and begins to come loose from the bones, remove.
Serve on a platter or large plate over the bread slices.
If you want, accompany it with potatoes boiled in water or in a little broth of the stew.


*Periplus  - a voyage or a trip around something (as an island or a coast) : circuit, circumnavigation,usually accompanied by a log book of the journey.

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