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I have to agree with Alex on the recipe – what exactly is the point of adding Cranberry Sauce to the gravy? Served separately the flavour of the cranberries shone against the succulence of the lamb but when dissolved into the sauce it became lost.
With no tinned green lentils on the shelf at Waitrose, and I’m buggered if I am going to simmer raw one for hours on end, I substituted Puy Lentils. Despite my loathing of parsnips I did indeed put one in the pot and actually had a couple of bites too. Still the devils vegetable though!
The dish was lovely; the lamb juicy and deliciously tasty and, while I should have reduced the gravy a little to aide its concentration, it went marvellously with the soft red I selected.
Red WineWine Tasting Note: Bodegas Ribera de Pelazas Abadengo, 2003, Vinos de La Tierra Arribes del Duero, Spain.
Available from Oddbins for £7.49.
Juan Garcia, obscure, packed with potential for bigger league stuff – especially with juicy, smooth wines like these blazing the trail. Plenty of fruit, wrapped up in an oaky whole. Touches of spiced blackberries and red currants. Alcohol is quite high at 14.5% and noticeable when sipping as the stew bubbled away. But the palate feel is immensely attractive – soft and juicy before a gentle cascade into that fruit medley and a tannic burst into a long blackcurrant finish.
Scribblings Rating – 92/100

This bodega nestles along the banks of the Duero not a great distance from the Portuguese border. Established in 1997 they farm just 5 hectares of vines. Vinos de La Tierra is the Spanish equivalent of the French Vin de Pays with the Juan Garcia grape a native or autochthonous variety.

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