Recipe by David J Rust
Made in the spring when both morel mushrooms and vidalia onions are in season (and, sometimes, the rare heirloom tomato such as a Cherokee Purple), this dish can be a nice change from regular beef stroganoff. It's important to note that when I came up with this recipe, the only wine I had on-hand was "off" so I left it out. Honestly? I didn't notice the difference and was able to taste the lamb much more. Don't use fat-free sour cream; you need some fat (I go for low-fat) in order for the sauce to form and get thick. This makes 6, light servings (fairly small), good for a brunch or light supper.
- 1 lb lamb stew meat, diced
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 teaspoons marjoram, dried
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 6 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 vidalia onions, medium-large (thinly sliced into strips)
- 1⁄2 lb morel, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon thyme, dried
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 1 3⁄4 cups light sour cream
- 2 1⁄4 cups penne pasta, whole grain
- 2 large heirloom tomatoes, diced
Directions See How It's Made
- Toss your lamb stew meat in the flour mixed with a pinch of the dried marjoram and some salt and pepper (to taste). Coat each piece completely.
- In a large skillet that has a tight-fitting lid, saute the lamb over high-heat in 2 Tbsp of the oil. Cook until nicely browned. Scrape the bottom of the skillet to keep the flour coating from burning, as you saute.
- Remove the lamb to a bowl and set aside for later.
- In the same skillet add 2 Tbsp of the grapseseed oil (half of what remains) and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the sliced onions and saute, slowly browning. Add half the marjoram, half the salt, and half the pepper.
- When the onions are fully brown, remove them to the same bowl as the browned lamb and set aside for later.
- In the same skillet, add the remaining oil and marjoram to the diced morel mushrooms. Add 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, the red bell pepper, and the thyme. Saute until the mushrooms have shrunk to about half size.
- Re-add the lamb and onions to the mushrooms. Stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper (if needed).
- Add the half-and-half as well as the low-fat (light) sour cream and stir to combine, completely. Reduce the heat to very low and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring only once or twice during this time to prevent any burning.
- While the sauce is simmering, heat your water for the penne pasta. Once the water has been salted and brought to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al'dente.
- Remove the pasta and drain; serve equal amounts on small plates or in bowls.
- When the sauce has finished simmering, it should be thick. If it is not thick, remove the lid and keep simmering (uncovered) while stirring it, to thicken. When it has finally reached the desired consistency, stir in the diced tomatoes.
- Pour equal parts of the sauce over each serving of pasta and serve hot.