This simple one-pot dinner has lamb, root vegetables, and quince. Quince is a lesser known fruit that’s currently out of season locally. However, in our globally supplied produce aisles, we have year-round access to it and many other interesting items. It’s round and bright yellow, a little like a pear, a little like an apple, and very tough when raw. It can be made into jam or jelly, which requires a lot of sugar, or roasted, which softens and caramelizes it.
Recently I teamed up quince with parsnips, carrots, and lamb and roasted them in the oven. It was a quick and lovely weeknight dinner that I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve to company (perhaps by substituting a small lamb shoulder roast and cooking longer).
The recipe uses a Dutch oven, a heavy pot with a lid that can go on the stove top and into the oven. Trendy, bright-colored Le Creuset Dutch ovens are $150 and up, but similar Lodge brand or plain cast iron ones can be found for $30 and up. Mine is a cast-iron footed 4-quart size that I bought for camping but works just fine on the gas range—it goes for only $25 at Amazon. The recipe here would fit snugly in a 3.5-quart size. If you don’t have a Dutch oven, you could scale back the vegetables and use a cast-iron or heat-safe skillet with a lid.
The seasoning is fragrant herbs de Provence, a mix of savory, thyme, rosemary, basil, tarragon and lavender. It’s a nice blend to have on hand to use with chicken, beef or lamb. Rosemary and thyme can be substituted.
|Lamb, Root Vegetable, and Quince Dutch Oven Dinner||
- 2 lamb chops, about 1/2 pound each
- A few sprinkles plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices (about 2 cups)
- 4 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch slices (about 2 cups)
- 2 quinces, washed, quartered, cored, and quarters cut into 2 to 3 slices each (no need to peel)
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons herbs de Provence (or 3/4 teaspoon each rosemary, crumbled in your hand, and dried thyme)
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Sprinkle salt on both sides of lamb chops. Warm 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown lamb chops, about 5 minutes per side.
- Place sliced carrots, parsnips, and quinces in a large bowl and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, chopped garlic, herbs, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Transfer to Dutch oven, arranging vegetables around the lamb chops.
- Cover Dutch oven and place in oven for 35 to 50 minutes or until vegetables are browned around the edges. Serve immediately. You will probably have vegetables left over to eat for lunch the next day!
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