Lark Creek Inn, Larkspur, CA
Serves 4 to 6 as a main course
The kitchen at Lark Creek Inn creates an incredibly tender lamb stew by searing and then braising leg of lamb with seasonal apricots. The leg of lomb may be roasted the day before, and dried apricots may be used as on alternative if fresh ones are not in season.
Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sear 8 to 10 cubes of lamb in a single layer until lightly browned on both sides, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the seared meat to a plate and sear the remaining lamb.
For the seasoning, use a mortar and pestle or mini-food processor to grind the rosemary, garlic, salt, anchovies, and 3 tablespoons olive oil into a coarse paste.
Preheat an oven to 275°F. Once all the lamb is seared, reheat the same Dutch oven over medium heat (do not wash the pan). Add the onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in the rosemary-anchovy mixture and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, until reduced by half. Add water to the pan until the meat is barely covered and stir in the bay leaf. Bring the stew to a low boil and add the apricots. Cover the pan with a tight lid. Roast in the oven for about 2 hours, or until the lamb is tender. The apricots will disintegrate and thicken the sauce. Remove from the oven. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Set in an ancient redwood grove on Magnolia Avenue in the town of Larkspur, the Lark Creek Inn has been winning the hearts of diners and critics alike since opening in 1989. In contrast to the dark-wooded bar greeting guests at the entrance, the dining area is flooded with natural light during the day and candlelit by night. It is a perennial special-occasion spot and is best known for inventive country cooking using mostly organic ingredients from local farmers and ranchers.
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This page created October 2008
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