Tea-Braised Lamb Stew
When tea is added to a braising liquid, as it is in this dish, the tea "brews." Here, this steeping adds tremendous smoky flavor that's a perfect foil for lamb and root vegetables. This is one of those dishes that's delicious right after it's cooked, and even better the next day.
1 1/2 pounds lamb stew meat, preferably shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup Five-Spice Chile Tea Rub
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 large onions, cut into 1-inch dice
8 ounces trimmed baby carrots
1 large celery stalk, cut into 1-inch dice
2 cups dry red wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed
2 large baking potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
- In a large bowl, combine the lamb and the rub and toss to coat the lamb. Allow the lamb to flavor for 15 minutes.
- Heat a small stockpot over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pot. Working in batches if necessary, add the lamb and brown it on all sides; remove the pieces to a plate and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and swirl to coat the bottom. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and sweat for 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 6 to 8 minutes. Return the lamb to the pot, add enough water to cover the lamb, and bring it to a simmer. Season, if necessary, with salt and pepper. Continue to simmer until the lamb is tender, 1 1/ 2 to 2 hours, adding the potatoes in the last 30 minutes. Serve in bowls.