Cuban-style Chilindron of Lamb
Chilindron is a rich, woodsy, bright Spanish stew, dominated by roasted red peppers, paprika and onions. Originally from Aragon in central Spain, it's now a staple dish in Cuban cuisine and other Spanish cultures, differing only by a few ingredients.
- 2 1/2 pounds lamb shank Add to list
- 3 teaspoons salt, or to taste, divided Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Add to list
- 2 limes, juiced or 2 to 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar Add to list
- Flour, for dredging Add to list
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil Add to list
- 6 slices bacon or pancetta, minced Add to list
- 1 onion, finely minced Add to list
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced or mashed in a mortar Add to list
- 1 large green bell pepper, julienned Add to list
- 1 cup dry sherry or your favorite dry red wine Add to list
- 2 (14-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes Add to list
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin Add to list
- 1 teaspoon hot Spanish paprika or pimentón Add to list
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano Add to list
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary Add to list
- 1 bay leaf Add to list
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley Add to list
- Cooked rice, mashed potatoes or bread, for serving (optional) Add to list
- 2 tablespoons chopped Spanish olives, to garnish Add to list
Place lamb in a large bowl or container and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, pepper and lime juice or vinegar. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. If you are marinating the meat for longer than 1 hour you should refrigerate it and bring it to room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
Drain lamb and pat it dry, reserving marinade. Dredge lamb lightly in flour. Heat oil over medium heat in a deep, shallow pan or Dutch oven. Brown lamb on all sides, about 3 minutes per side — you can do this in batches. Transfer lamb to a plate when done.
Add bacon or pancetta to the pan and sauté until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add onions, garlic and bell peppers. Reduce the heat to low and sauté the vegetables for 5 to 6 minutes, until caramelized and soft. Add sherry or wine and scrape the pan to pick up the toasted parts on the bottom of the pan.
Return lamb to the pan and add reserved marinade, crushed tomatoes, cumin, paprika, oregano, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, rosemary and bay leaf. Cover and simmer over low heat or in a 350º F oven until lamb is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Turn the lamb every 30 minutes or so to ensure that it keeps moist and cooks evenly. Add water if the sauce reduces too much.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Discard bay leaf, stir in parsley and serve over rice, mashed potatoes or over bread slices as an appetizer. Garnish with olives.
Recipe by, PCC Cooks instructor