Wednesday, February 7, 2007

A Midas Feast

I just couldn't help myself. This recipe has such as great name I had to make it. According to Lynn Alley, author of The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World, The Midas Feast is one of the earliest recorded one-pot meals. And since I'm a history buff, that held some appeal to me to. How many other people had made a "Midas Feast" before? It's sexier than asking how many people have made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

It might not look to pretty, but boy is this good. If you like lamb chops, you will probably like this. The taste of the meat reminds me more of lamb chops than a leg of lamb - I can tell a distinct difference in the flavor between the two. The little bit of honey added into the red-wine sauce add a sweetness that surprises you as you are eating. It is a really interesting combination.

I love that this recipe cooks in the slow cooker. But notice that there is a bit of work before getting all the ingredients into the slow cooker. I think it was about 40 minutes of prep and stove-top cooking before going into the crock pot. The end results were way worth it!

The Midas Feast
Serves 4 to 6

1 cup brown lentils
2 teaspoons aniseed or fennel seed
2 teaspoons cumin seed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cups dry red win or Midas Touch ale
1 cup chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups cooked barley (optional)

Rinse the lentils thoroughly and place them in the slow cooker.

Combine the aniseed and cumin in a mortar or coffee grinder and grind to a coarse powder.

Heat a large saute pan over the medium-high heat and add the oil. In batches if necessary, add the lamb and cook, turning occasionally, for 7 to 10 minutes, until thoroughly browned. Using tongs, transfer the lamb to the slow cooker, arranging it on to of the lentils.

Add the onion to the pan and saute, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until browned. Add the spice mixture to the onion and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine to the saute pan and stir to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until the wine is reduced by one-third. Add the stock and honey and stir well. Pour over the lamb and lentils in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until the meat is very tender. Add the salt and serve the stew over the barley.


Michael Tosatto said...

this looks like an interesting meal and I love the slow cooker aspect of it.

perfumequuen said...

I actually made this meal from the cookbook tonight, using the ale suggested. It was truly divine. Very rich and filling, yet very simple too. I think the barley complimented the lentils and lamb quite well. Even my one year old loved it.

Anonymous said...

I know this post is three year old, but I just stumbled upon it... I made this recipe for dinner last night from the cookbook. It was amazing! I used green lentils, as I couldn't find brown ones, used a dry red wine and served it with brown rice instead of barley. Simply amazing! And, cool that there is an historical reference to it. Thanks for sharing!