Basque Lamb Stew

3 1/2 lbs. lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
1 sprig fresh rosemary, about 1 tablespoon chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
Salt
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 10-ounce can roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry, full-bodied red wine
1 cup chicken stock*
Freshly ground black pepper

Combine the lamb, half of the garlic cloves, rosemary, and white wine in a medium bowl. Let marinate for 2 to 3 hours. Drain the meat, discard the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Mince the remaining garlic cloves and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with lid, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Salt the meat as it browns.

Remove the meat from the pan and add the onions to the pan. Cook, scraping browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Return the meat to the pan with the onions and garlic. Stir in paprika, roasted peppers, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, and red wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, allowing the liquids to reduce a bit. Then add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add freshly ground black pepper and more salt to taste.
Serve with rustic bread. If you want, try garnishing with fresh mint leaves (though I have no idea how “Basque” that is, it just tastes good.)

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