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Alberta Lamb Stew with Barley, Feta and Herb Dumplings

An Irish-style lamb stew without the wait, using lean ground lamb. The dumplings are added in the last half of the cooking time, for a one pot supper of veggies, lamb and fluffy herbed dumplings.

1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
1 lb (500 g) lean ground lamb
1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed
3 leeks, whites only, thickly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups (500 mL) sliced cabbage
1 tbsp (15 mL) barley flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) pot or pearl barley
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
3 1/2 cups (900 mL) lower sodium beef broth
1 cup (250 mL) tomato juice (or 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste mixed with enough water to make 1 cup/250 mL)

DUMPLINGS

1 cup (250 mL) barley flour
1 tbsp (15 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh chopped or dried crumbled rosemary
1 tsp (5 mL) dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a Dutch oven or deep skillet with lid, heat oil over medium heat. Add ground lamb; cook until browned, stirring frequently to break meat into pieces. Add rutabaga, leeks, carrots and cabbage; cook just until leeks start to soften. Stir in flour, barley and thyme. Stir in broth and tomato juice. Cover and place in oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 30 minutes, the stew should still have quite a bit of liquid. If dry, stir in 1 cup (250 mL) water before topping with dumplings.

To make dumplings, stir together flour, baking powder, rosemary, Italian seasoning and salt. Stir in feta cheese and milk until mixture forms into a thick batter. Spoon 10 to 12 dollops of batter over the stew.

Return to oven, uncovered, and continue to cook without stirring, until dumplings have risen and are slightly dry to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Serve immediately, placing two dumplings per serving in a shallow bowl and surrounding with stew.

Makes 5 – 6 servings.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Calories: 577
Protein: 33 g
Carbohydrate: 57 g
Fibre: 12 g
Sugars: 14 g
Fat: 27 g
Saturated Fat: 9 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 95 mg
Sodium: 1298 mg
Potassium: 1115 mg