Lamb Stewed in Leftover Red Wine
With some honey, some vegetables and some herbs too of course.
This is an old twimii recipe – from 2012 I think. I originally called it leftover lamb stew and so naturally most people who visited it were searching for what to do with leftover lamb – you make Shepherd’s Pie with leftover lamb – but this recipe is what to do with the two-thirds empty bottle of red wine that has been lingering in your fridge door. You don’t want to drink it so what to do? By the way in the recipe I say I wouldn’t use a bottle that has been in the fridge for longer than a week in a stew – well that’s definitely not true these days anyway. If you have no idea how long the bottle has been there just add a little more honey.
This recipe is not gluten-free but you can use gluten-free flour instead or thicken the gravy with cornflour. Or you can add half the amount of stock and let the liquid be thickened with the fat from the meat and with the tomato purée. It will be a less thick gravy but still very good.
If the whole concept of finding half-drunk forgotten bottles of wine in your fridge door is completely foreign to you then just think of this as what to do when you get a bottle of wine that tastes undrinkable – not in a “there’s something definitely wrong with this” sort of way – just in the “oh that’s way too sharp or tanniny or whatever” sort of way.
I moved a couple of weeks ago. And of course in the process I cleared out the fridge freezer. I discovered frozen lamb chops in the freezer. When I bought them, why I froze them, who knows. Maybe they were a present from the forget-me-not food fairy. I also found an unfinished bottle of red wine in the fridge. I don’t know how wine bottles manage to blend in with the rest of the stuff in the fridge so well. I stopper the bottle and then it just disappears until I notice it about a month later when it is totally unusable. This particular wine bottle had only managed to evade notice for about a week or so, I believe, so while it definitely wasn’t drinkable it was still good for stewing.
One of the first savoury recipes I ever used was Delia Smith’s boeuf en daube and the reason I made it was because the bottle of wine we had was undrinkable so I added a load of maple syrup to it (the only addition I made to the recipe) and made boeuf on daube. And it was lovely. I’ve never made it since. But as I went through my fridge and found the usual suspects; carrots, onions, celery, overripe tomatoes and mushrooms that were a day away from needing to be thrown out, I decided it was time to find a use for my leftover wine.
Now this is a much more thrown together sort of recipe than the Boeuf en daube and you could add whatever root vegetables you have in the fridge that you want to use up in with it. Oh, and when I made this the gravy was actually a slightly mauve-grey-brown colour. The camera didn’t pick it up but if I was making this for people I’d definitely add in a couple of tablespoons of tomato purée simply for the colour.