Lamb and Tart Cherry Stew

by Emily Kemme

The Montmorency tart cherry is a stealth superfood. According to the Cherry Marketing Institute, tart cherries have an abundance of “anthocyanins — a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color and distinctive sour-sweet taste.” As a natural melatonin source, cherries help you get a good night’s sleep. High phenolic compounds fight arthritis and gout inflammation, reduce exercise soreness, and contribute to heart health. 

Meaty tart cherries lend luscious depth to this lamb and tart cherry stew. The sauce is light, not too thick, with a hint of cherry.

Lamb and Tart Cherry Stew Recipe

2 pounds boneless lamb leg cut into 1 inch chunks, patted dry

1 – 15 ounce can tart cherries, drained and juice reserved

1 sweet yellow onion, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch discs

1 celery stalk, trimmed, sliced into 1/4 inch half moons

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups dry red wine

1 tsp honey

2 T rosemary leaves, minced

1 T thyme leaves, minced

2 T unsalted butter

2 T olive oil

To Prepare:

Melt butter and oil over medium heat in large Dutch oven.

Brown lamb in batches, removing to clean bowl. Add butter or oil if needed.

Sauté onion until golden and translucent, then add carrots and celery to pot, stirring to coat. Cook until softened. Scatter garlic into pot and scent for 30 seconds.

Pour in wine and bring liquid to boil. Stir in honey until melted and sprinkle herbs over liquid. Return lamb to pot, and bring to boil, then cover and simmer on low for one hour.

Spoon cherries into stew and continue to simmer until stew thickens, for one hour, or until stew thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Serve with mashed potatoes or wide egg noodles.

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