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From Lakota Chef, author, and Indigenous cuisine advocate, Sean Sherman’s cookbook, "The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen," this Hunter’s Stew recipe only uses ingredients indigenous to North America, including spicy, peppery notes of crushed juniper berries in place of black pepper and lemony staghorn sumac. Brown your lamb in sunflower oil before slow-cooking the meat until fork tender in corn or bison stock.
Tender, slow-cooked leg of lamb with juniper and sumac
1 ounce dried wild mushrooms, such as chanterelles, trumpet, or morels
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2½ to 3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 wild onions or 1 large leek, white part, trimmed
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 teaspoons sumac to taste
1 cup corn or bison Stock
Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Soak about 20 minutes until softened. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms and set aside.
In a large, heavy pot, heat the sunflower oil over medium-high heat and brown the meat pieces in batches, seasoning with salt and juniper. Be careful not to crowd the pan. Cook each batch about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the browned meat to a platter.
Reduce the heat and add the onions, mushrooms, oregano and sumac, and sauté until the onion is soft and the mushrooms release some of their liquid, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped, reconstituted wild mushrooms and the soaking liquid and the stock, stirring to dislodge any brown bits that stick to the pan.
Return the meat to the pot, bring to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until the meat is fork tender, about 2 hours. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Remove from the heat and let sit a few minutes before serving.
From The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen by Sean Sherman with Beth Dooley. Published by the University of Minnesota Press. Copyright 2017 Ghost Dancer, LLC. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Photograph of Hunter’s Stew, mashed squash, and cranberries by Mette Nielsen.