Today marks the fifth day of the Peking to Paris motor challenge. Kicking off this morning in Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia, the competitors plan to cover another 360km/224mi throughout the course of the day, spending the night in Kharakorin. The weather in Mongolia is a pleasant 68 F during the day, dropping below freezing during the long, clear nights. This leg of the journey is still along unpaved roads, causing some mechanical problems for several of the cars - including our own, #60 and #77, which have experienced problems with brakes, headlights and engine fans. The repairs were executed quickly and painlessly and our cars were back on the road this morning!
Lamb and Carrot Stew
In the northern regions of China, this recipe traditionally is made with either lamb or goat. Our version calls for lamb, but you can also use beef. This dish is also traditionally served as a hot pot; meat and vegetables in a broth. We thickened our liquid with a little cornstarch and water to make more of a typical stew type sauce.
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
¼ cup gluten free rice vinegar (like Kikkoman brand)
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 lbs lamb or beef stew meat, cut into 1” pieces
1 large onion, diced
3 carrots, cut into ½” slices
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 cups chicken or beef broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 bay leaves
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup chopped scallions
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon cold water
In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tablespoons oil, vinegar and ground pepper. Place meat in a medium bowl and add the vinegar mixture, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Heat remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. When hot, add meat and discard marinade. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes, until meat is browned on all sides and onions are translucent. Add carrots, tomatoes, broth, salt, and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 1 hour or until meat is tender. Remove bay leaves with a slotted spoon or tongs. Mix corn starch and cold water in a small bowl, stirring well to combine. Add to stew and cook over medium heat until the broth thickens.
To serve, spoon stew into individual serving bowls and top with generous handfuls of cilantro and scallions. Serve with boiled potatoes or steamed rice.