4 lbs. cubed lamb
2 pints veggie stock
1 cup red wine
12 to 18 small potatoes, diced, or 2 medium eggplants diced, about 1 1/2 cups
6 large tomatoes, diced and seeded
2 large onions, diced
1 cup of pearl onions
3 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 sprigs of fresh Thyme
4 sprigs of fresh oregano
Hand-full of fresh Italian Parsley, chopped and stems removed
1 teaspoon Sumac
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
If you are using the eggplant, place in a colander, salt, toss and set sit to drain, about an hour or two, rinse and place on paper towels, set aside
If you are using the potatoes, par-boil, in salt water until al dente, drain, rinse and set aside.
In a large Dutch oven add oil to thinly coat bottom and place over medium/high heat. Brown meat in batches, browning on all sides, about 2 minutes per side, remove and set aside.
Now add the onions(diced), carrots, and celery, sauté until soft. Drain off excess oil and add garlic, followed by red wine to deglaze Dutch oven, scraping the bits off the bottom, add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat. Next add tomatoes, sauté for about 2 minutes, remove from heat, return meat to Dutch oven and add spices, salt and pepper, and sprigs of thyme and oregano, cover and place in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove from oven stir, check tenderness of meat, seasoning, add potatoes or eggplant, pearl onions, cover and cook for another 20 minutes, until veggies are done and the meat is tender.
Remove from oven, let stand cover for 15 to 20 minutes before serving, remove sprigs of herbs, garnish with parsley.
Now this will work with almost any meat, Chicken, Beef, or Venison. I would marinade the Venison in red wine, garlic, balsamic vinegar, for at least overnight, to tenderize it a bit, so that you are not braising the meat most of the day.
As for the veggies, you can swap out the carrots for turnips, parsnips, or cauliflower. I tried the cauliflower in both stages of the recipe, but it works best here since it melts into the dish during the early braising stage, giving it a wonderful texture.
You can also swap out the veggies in the second braising stage for the eggplant/potato: Zucchini or other squashes work well, prepping them like the eggplant, also sun-chokes for the potatoes, early prepping like the potatoes. An addition to the recipe can be by adding mushrooms at this stage give the dish a nice earthy flavor.