Sunday was our last performance of L'Étoile, and it was a wonderful way to cap off this first summer season. Now that I'm on vacation, I've been playing tourist with Joseph, on visit from Brooklyn, and eating up a storm in restaurants. Tonight, however, I decided to cook.
Lamb stew, with roasted potatoes and zucchini.
Lamb and cherry stew
2 lbs lamb - various cuts, with a few bones for stewing
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 8 oz. can tomatoes
2 handfuls fresh sweet red cherries, pitted and halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp tsp cumin
1/4 cup red (sweet) vermouth
salt, to taste
Remove as much fat as possible from the lamb and cut the meat into pieces. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan with lid or Dutch oven; pat the meat dry and sear on high heat for a few minutes. Add the onion cut into thin strips and the minced garlic.
Reduce the heat to a medium. Add the tomatoes and halved cherries. Add the herbs, spices and salt, as well as the vermouth. Once the mixture begins to simmer, reduce the heat further to low. Cover the pan and let the stew cook for 1 hour, until the meat falls away from the bone and be split with a fork. Adjust salt to taste. If you've started your stew early in the day as I did, you can let it sit, then reheat it gently before eating (this is a good way to make sure the flavors settle). Remove the bay leaves before serving.
And for dessert, honey-rosemary crème Saint-Honoré with nectarines and blueberries, almonds, Cointreau and rum sauce. Now we sit, round and tired, digesting while watching Hitchcock's Suspicion.