Lamb Chili with Masa Harina Dumplings

January 17, 2012 · 6 comments

in lamb,soups and stews

It goes against nearly everything in my gut to like dumplings. I really, really do not like soggy bread and, texturally speaking, I should loathe dumplings. But I don’t. Not.at.all. In fact, I have another dumpling recipe waiting in the wings to post soon after this one. Because I freaking love them.

I feel like a broken record here, but I’ll say it again… “I’ve had this recipe saved for a really long time, but finally got around to making it.” Nearly 3 years ago, I took to organizing my saved magazine and online recipes, and this comes from the binder that stemmed from that organization. I’m always so annoyed when it takes me so long to make a recipe that’s so great.

This recipe will not  be winning any awards in the frugality department. It had been ages since I’d purchased lamb shoulder, so I had forgotten how crazy expensive it can be – and a whole shoulder of 3-4 lbs. is clearly going to cost a pretty penny. But, you know how much I adore lamb (not to mention going to the butcher) so it had to be done. That said, I have no doubts that this recipe would be delicious with pork shoulder or beef chuck. Plus, we ended up freezing a couple portions for another dinner, later.

I thought this would be spicier than it was (I was almost worried, in fact). It had a nice little kick, but definitely nothing major. I think the chipotles mellow out while cooking and New Mexico chilies (at least, the ones I had around) are not terribly spicy themselves. I actually really, really loved the spicy-without-being-too-spicy flavor, and the depth of this dish, not only from using dried chilies in the broth, but from the lamb stewing for hours.

One tip I picked up from the other dumpling recipe I made is to wrap the lid in a clean kitchen towel while simmering the dumplings. This seems to make them a bit less soggy/more firm to the touch, so I’ll do that next time and have added that step below. You’ll want to make this stew a day ahead of time, not only because it tastes better that way but also because it’s much easier to remove the fat from the top after it’s chilled.

 

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne January 18, 2012 at 5:29 am

I was actually won over to the pro-dumpling camp this year as well and I’m LOVING this take on them! Lamb is truly the only meat I miss and my belly is growling just thinking about this going on in my kitchen!

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Cara January 18, 2012 at 9:23 am

If I bring this to a chili cook-off, would that be cheating since it’s not original? I guess I need to ask the host. This sounds incredible!

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Ann P. January 18, 2012 at 12:46 pm

Yes, I agree! Lamb is ten kinds of awesome :) With dumplings in this amazing chili–even better!

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Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul January 18, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Oh elly…your lamb dishes are the best! This super comfort food and those dumplings are calling me. I like how you used masa harina to make these!

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Joan Nova January 18, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Dumplings are not something I eat…for not particular reason, but this sure is an interesting and creative dish. Love the idea of lamb chili.

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bellini January 19, 2012 at 5:56 am

It sounds like it was worth the wait Elly.

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