This stew will change your view on what a savory slow cooker stew can be.
Not only is this soup hearty, thanks to wild rice, mushrooms, and big chunks of vegetables, but it also has slow-simmered lamb meatballs that are guaranteed to be fall-apart tender and give the broth a super rich flavor.
For the cold months, I can’t imagine a meal getting much better than a big bowl of this.
While you could use a cubed lamb roast for this soup, you run the risk of ending up with tough bits of lamb.
Instead, I like to use ground lamb and make meatballs, which will then simmer in the stew.
Since lamb has so much flavor naturally, you don’t need to have a bunch of add-ins in your meatballs. You just need an egg and some breadcrumbs for binder, and then simple salt and pepper seasonings.
Mix that all together and form small meatballs out of the mixture. You should get 20-24 meatballs out of it.
To make sure the meatballs stick together, sear them in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes.
You don’t have to worry about them cooking all the way through at this point since they will simmer in the slow cooker later, but just make sure they are browned well on all sides.
When your meatballs are cooked, prep the other veggies.
The only trick here is to make sure you keep your veggies in big chunks so they don’t get too soft. I just quarter my mushrooms and keep my carrots in celery in 1 to 2-inch chunks.
Then just toss everything into the pot! After you remove your meatballs from the skillet, add two cups of water to the skillet and use the liquid to scrape up any bits. Add that liquid to the slow cooker also!
After you add the liquid from the skillet and the beef stock, it should just barely cover the ingredients.
Cover the slow cooker and let this all simmer on low for about 5 hours.
When you’re ready to serve it, you can get your rice and spinach ready.
You can use any rice, honestly, but I like black or wild rice. It has a very nutty, full flavor.
The only trick is to make sure to cook it separately in simmering water and then serve it with the soup. If you cook the rice in the slow cooker with the stew, it’ll get too thick and turn everything a dark black color (not appetizing).
The spinach can be roughly chopped and tossed in the slow cooker with 5 minutes left. It will wilt quickly.
When you’re ready to serve it, spoon some cooked rice into a bowl and ladle the stew over the top.
Be sure to get lots of broth, veggies, and meatballs in each bowl!
Nick wants you to get into slow cooker season! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon Profile.