Stew of lamb shank, spaghetti squash, and sweet potatoes
Though hot all day, Sunday was a little chilly by evening, so I decided to make the first stew of autumn. First I seared a lamb shank, then set it aside, and carmelized some minced shallots in the lamb drippings and some olive oil. Then I added the lamb shank back in, along with about a cup and a half each of sweet potatoes and spaghetti squash, fresh rosemary and thyme, salt and pepper, a quarter cup of Dogfish Ale punkin lager and three cups of water. I brought this to a simmer, then partially covered and lowered the temperature. I let the stew cook like this for about a half hour.
Meanwhile I gave Jasper a bath, which is why I didn't notice that during the half hour most of the liquid evaporated and the vegetables were starting to disintegrate. This stew would probably be better if the vegetables were still soft, but not yet falling apart. So I'd add four cups of water instead of three, and cook for maybe 20 minutes. There also wasn't a great deal of meat (though when I removed the shank to chop the meat it all fell off the bone easily). So the stew would be more balanced with two shanks.
Nonetheless, I loved the rich savoriness of the lamb against the sweetness of the potatoes and squash. It's also a beautiful stew, with fall leaf colors of gold, orange, and brown. Have you ever noticed the texture of lamb fat, they way it turns to silk when heated? Maybe it's not exactly the fat but some other tissue, I'm not sure. But that's one of my favorite aspects of lamb meat.