Imbolc Lamb Stew

Imbolc marks the half way mark of the dark half of the year. In old times, even though their winter stores of food were starting to get low, it was still a time of great celebration. There are a lot of traditional foods for this time of year. People would make dishes of Lamb ( which is the most traditional) poultry or pork. Foods with seeds to symbolize growth and foods with raisins to represent the sun God. So what is the dilemma of the modern witch? For me, it is connecting with the traditions of our past as well as keeping the wheel moving forward. Being a kitchen witch for the temple this challenge is one I love to take on. I feel it is important to have foods that make us feel connected to our ancestors, but also keep us in our present and moving forward. Lamb is a timeless dish to make. It has a ton of modern updates as well as being a staple of our ancestors. So I feel it is a perfect one for us to tackle for Imbolc this year!

Our ancestors would make lamb stew for Imbolc. It was easy for them to throw it in a pot and boil it all day with some root veggies that are on hand for this time of year. If you want to stay true to our roots by all means make a lamb stew, but if you want to do something a little more modern how about a rack of lamb or do some lamb chops? Granted lamb is not the cheapest of meats these days since we don’t eat it as much as we used to but I guarantee that it is worth it!
Here is your ingredients list for a serving of four:

⦁ 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can make your own or get some from the store)
⦁ 2 tablespoons minced garlic
⦁ 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
⦁ 1 teaspoon salt
⦁ 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
⦁ 2 tablespoons olive oil
⦁ 1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed and frenched (Frenched means the meat around the end of the bone separated from the bone and pushed down)
⦁ 1 teaspoon salt
⦁ 1 teaspoon black pepper
⦁ 2 tablespoons olive oil
⦁ 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Move oven rack to the center position.
2. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss in 2 tablespoons olive oil to moisten mixture. Set aside.
3. Season the rack all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy oven proof skillet over high heat. Sear rack of lamb for 1 to 2 minutes on all sides. Set aside for a few minutes. Brush rack of lamb with the mustard. Roll in the bread crumb mixture until evenly coated. Cover the ends of the bones with foil to prevent charring.
4. Arrange the rack bone side down in the skillet. Roast the lamb in preheated oven for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the degree of doneness you want. With a meat thermometer, take a reading in the center of the meat after 10 to 12 minutes and remove the meat, or let it cook longer, to your taste. Let it rest for 5 to 7 minutes, loosely covered, before carving between the ribs.
This is an amazing dish it looks amazing when plated and your guests will love it! There are several side dishes that you can serve with this dish. Roasted asparagus and mashed sweet potatoes are wonderful but you can make any root veggie you like. The possibilities are endless! Use your imagination and connect with your ancestors.

Have a blessed Imbolc!


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