Like the majority of the planet, FFF is all about The Hunger Games right now. We devoured the trio of books over a week, and are itching to see the just released movie. One of our favourite features of the story? The detailed and delicious descriptions of meals served to The Tributes in The Capitol as they prepare to do battle until death in The Hunger Games.
If that last sentence is a mystery to you, stop stalling and start reading. Then try making one of our favourite dish descriptions — Lamb Stew with Dried Plums (also a favourite of Katniss, the heroine of the series) — which promises to be just as tasty and satisfying as The Hunger Games trilogy.
Katniss’s Favorite Capitol Lamb Stew with Dried Plums
FFF note: This recipe is very large, so feel free to halve the amounts below.
- 5 pounds lamb fillet, shoulder or leg, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cups beef stock
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 3 cups diced carrots
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 1/2 cups diced celery
- 2 large onions, diced
- 3 potatoes, cubed
- 5 cups dried plums (or prunes)*
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup ginger ale
Place lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in a large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly.
Heat olive oil in a large pan and brown the meat, working in batches if needed.
Remove lamb to a side plate. Pour off fat, leaving 1/4 cup in the pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté until the onion becomes golden. Deglaze frying pan with the 1/2 cup water, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan to stir up all of the tasty bits of meat and onion. Cook to reduce liquid slightly, then remove from heat.
Place the lamb and garlic-onion mixture in a large stockpot. Add beef stock and sugar, stirring until sugars are dissolved. Bring mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer for 1-1/2 hours.
Add the vegetables, dried plums, herbs, and ginger ale to the pot. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until meat and vegetables pierce easily with a fork. Serve with crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
* This is quite a large measurement — add less if you feel it is too much for the dish.
Recipe via The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook by Ansara Baines