Picture and adapted recipe from MyRecipes.com.
- 1T olive oil
- 1 lb lamb shoulder, with fat trimmed off and cut into the smallest pieces you can make – ¼ inch or less (can also make with ground lamb)
- 1t ground cumin
- 1/2t good sea salt
- 1/5C onion, chopped finely and uniformly
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1T tomato paste
- 1.5C low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2C water
- 1/3C pimiento stuffed green olives, chopped into small uniform pieces
- 1/3C raisins
- 2T honey
- 1/2t crushed red pepper
- 1/4t ground turmeric
- 1/2t ground cinnamon
- 1C frozen peas
- 3 large yams (I like the red garnet yams but any will do). Peel and chop one of them into medium sized chunks.
Preheat oven to 375oF. Put a little cooking spray on the outside of 2 of the yams, prick holes in them with a fork, and roast until soft. Cool them enough to handle, and remove the peels. Mash the yams in a separate bowl and set them aside.
While the yams are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. When the oil is hot add the lamb sprinkled with 1/2t of the cumin and salt. Saute for 4-5 mins, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the lamb from the pan, add the onion and sauté for 3 mins stirring occasionally. Then add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, stirring constantly (don’t let the garlic burn!). Stir in the tomato paste and sauté 30 seconds more, stirring frequently. Add the chicken broth and water to the pan along with the chopped yam and bring to a boil, scraping to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the lamb to the mixture, stir in the remaining cumin and the olives, raisins, honey, red pepper, turmeric and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the peas.
Per 10oz serving rehydrated: calories 515, carbs 58.3g, fat 22g, protein 22.1g
To speed rehydration time on the trail, puree the portion that you want to take on the trail in a food processor to make the pieces smaller and more uniform. Do NOT leave any chunks any bigger than ~1/4inch (the size of the green peas) or you will not get uniform rehydration and some pieces will be chewier than you will like.
After pureeing the stew, spread it in a thin layer (<1/2 inch deep) on dehydrator trays, recording the quantity carefully. Dehydrate for 8-10 hours or overnight, then check to be sure that there are no bits with moisture remaining. If needed, recrumble on the tray and dehydrate a couple of hours more. I dehydrate the mashed yams on a separate tray and bag them separately. Then crumble the dehydrated stew and yams, remeasure and make a tag with the name of the dish and the amount water to add back at camp. (You need to add enough water to bring the total volume of dried food plus water up to the original mixture before drying.) Put the dried mixtures and the tasg into zip-loc freezer bags and freeze (refrigerate is OK) until ready to pack.
At camp, bring water to a boil or near boil and add the desired amount to your shepherd’s pie in your mug, bowl or freezer bag. Do the same with the yams. Wrap the container in aluminum foil or an insulated ‘cozy’, and wait for 15-20 minutes (the warmer the food stays during rehydration, the faster the process will go!). After about 15 minutes you can take a taste to test whether the vegies and meat are still crunchy. If so, or if the mixture appears too dry, you can add more water or give it more time. Spoon the rehydrated yams on top of the rehydrated stew and enjoy. You will like the yams enough to take them on trips all by themselves!