hunger game, katniss favorite stew, lamb and dried plums

Too good to wait!

Well, I said I’d do it, and I have.

A couple of days ago, I made the famous Capitol stew which made such an impression on Katniss Everdeen (Chapter 9 of The Hunger Games).   Lamb and prunes! a winning combination any day, so it wasn’t much of a risk.

Here are the ingredients, as given: lamb, flour, olive oil, garlic, onion, beef stock, white sugar, brown sugar, carrots, zucchini, celery, onions, potatoes, prunes (dried plums), thyme, rosemary, basil, parsley, bay leaves, ginger ale.

Because I wasn’t doing a formal cookbook review, and stews are forgiving, I played it pretty casual with this recipe.  I fiddled with the proportions (more vegetables, fewer prunes, less sugar).  I used my own favorite technique: brown the lamb on one side in a cast iron skillet, brown the other side by sliding the whole thing  under the broiler.

After that, I moved the operation to the slow cooker, so I used about a quarter the suggested liquid.  And I totally just skipped the ginger ale.    It was sweet enough already, from the prunes and sugar.  The finished stew was thick, bubbly, and aromatic, with golden bits of lamb draped in plummy sauce, coyly peeking through the vegetables

I rushed it to a hungry family, and we all dove upon it.  I meant to take a picture before grabbing a fork, but by the time I remembered, all the plates looked like this one.