I got home late last night from a family funeral, emotionally drained and in that strange hungry/not hungry frame of mind that comes with standing around all day drinking cups of tea from an urn and eating club sandwiches.
The Boy Wonder had transformed himself into super housedad in my absence and when we got home from the airport this was bubbling quietly on the stove. It's enormously comforting - he used to make it a lot about five years ago - and just the thing for a cold autumn night.
Lemony Lamb Stew
This began life as a Ray McVinnie recipe, torn out of the newspaper back in about 2003. It's now ours by adoption.
500-700g boned lamb shoulder, cut into 2cm chunks
3Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
5 floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
1Tbsp flour (use rice flour or cornflour to make gluten-free)
2 cups beef stock
1 cup water (or 1/2 water, 1/2 white wine)
1 cup frozen peas
zest and juice of a lemon
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot and saute the garlic, onion, carrot and celery for five minutes over medium heat. Add the lamb and saute again until it colours all over, then stir in the flour. Let cook for a minute or two, then add the potatoes, stock and water. Bring to the boil, then let simmer gently for 45 minutes until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes, then squeeze over the lemon juice and stir. Sprinkle with lemon zest and parsley before serving with chunks of baguette. Serves four.