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Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1½ pound lamb shoulder, in 1-inch cubes


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1 medium onion, sliced

¾ cup carrot coins, thickly sliced

2 to 3 cloves garlic, sliced

14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup chicken stock, plus extra if needed

1 cup red wine

2 sprigs thyme

1 sprig rosemary

2 cups cubed butternut squash (¾-inch)

Cracked pepper

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy, ovenproof Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Blot the pieces of lamb dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle with salt. When the oil is hot, brown half the cubes on all sides, about five minutes. Remove the lamb to a plate with a slotted spoon and add more oil if necessary. Brown the rest of the lamb and then remove that from the pot as well.

2. Turn down the heat to medium low and add the onions, carrots and garlic to the pot. Cook for three to five minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Make sure not to let the garlic color too much.

3. Add the diced tomatoes, stock, wine, herbs and the browned lamb, along with any juices that have accumulated. Bring the stew just to a boil over high heat, stirring gently with a wooden spoon to get up all the brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Cover the pot and put it in the oven. Cook until the lamb is just tender, for 1½ to 2 hours.

4. When the lamb goes into the oven, prepare the squash. Toss the pieces with remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and transfer to a small baking tray. Roast them (alongside the Dutch oven) until they are just cooked through. Test pieces with the tip of a knife or a cake tester. When they are done, remove from the oven and set aside.

5. Before serving, stir the squash pieces into the hot stew. Thicken the juices, if you like. Garnish dishes with a thyme sprig and a good sprinkle of freshly cracked black pepper.

— Adapted from a recipe by Merrill Stubbs on the Food 52 blog from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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