Tender Lamb Stew
Start with lamb shoulder or stewing meat, add the vegetables and potatoes, and this stew will practically cook itself.
You can make this stew in an oven, but if you use a slow cooker, all you have to do is set it up in the morning, and the dish will be ready by evening.* Slow cooking makes this lamb especially tender, and the aroma from the rosemary and lamb while they stew will make your mouth water. I love to add kale because it's packed with vitamin A and iron, but feel free to substitute spinach or Swiss chard.
step 1Rinse lamb and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or pot. (See below for slow cooker instructions.)
step 2Brown the lamb in batches, making certain not to overcrowd the bottom of the pot. Turn the pieces with tongs or a large wooden spoon to brown evenly on all sides, about 6-8 minutes per batch. Remove to a large bowl. Carefully pour off all the fat from the pot.
step 3Return the pot to the heat. Stir in the tomato paste and canned tomatoes and their juices, breaking up the tomatoes and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Place the browned lamb back into the pot and stir. If necessary, add just enough water to barely cover the lamb. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid simmers. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
step 4While the lamb is stewing, prepare all the vegetables as listed under ingredients. After the lamb has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, add the vegetables and half the rosemary to the pot, stirring them into the stewing liquid. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes until the lamb and vegetables are very tender.
step 5Stir in the remaining rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.