I love to drink tea each day because it brings out my inner tranquili-TEA…

It was my husband’s turn to pick the Cookbook for My Cookbook Challenge – and he chose Simply Ming. I am pretty sure I bought this book for him over 12 years ago, and I kid you not when I went to peruse the recipes – I realized the book had yet to be opened.

In this book, Ming presents multiple techniques for bringing his east/west flair to everyday cooking. One of the things I liked most about this book is that he suggests a drink (wine, tea, soda) with every dish, along with easy tips to make this daunting challenge alot more easier!

The first recipe I chose was Tea Braised Lamb Stew using his Five Spice Chile Tea Rub – I have been wanting to find a recipe that used tea in its recipe – I could not wait to smell the aroma wafting through the kitchen and the smoky depth it would add. See below for the recipe for his rub, and the Tea Braised Lamb Stew Recipe

First and foremost – I need to warn you – this rub packs a punch and by bunch I mean a pure sucker punch to the nose and the back of your throat! But it will keep you coming back for more!

Five Spice Chile Tea Rub (Makes about 6 cups & last 3 weeks in the refrigerator)

3 cups Lapsang Souchong Tea Leaves

1/2 cup seal salt or kosher salt

1/3 cup red pepper flakes

1/2 cup chipotle chile powder

1/2 cup dehydrated garlic

1/4 cup cayenne pepper

1/4 cup dried chives or onions

1/4 cup five-spice powder

Combine all the ingredients

I found the Lapsang Souching Tea Leaves really hard to find locally, I went to quite a few grocery stores as well as some local asian grocery stores and had no luck. I ultimately had to purchase off of Amazon (link below).

Couple things about Lapsang – there is a pretty significant amount of caffeine, so if you get the jitters like me – this will put a little kick in your step. The smoky tea also has some awesome benefits on its own; helps increase blood flow for your cardiovascular health, and also a great antioxidant!

The stew was a hit in our household – but like I said – it packs a sucker punch of smoke and heat – if I were to make it next time, I would limit the rub on the pieces of meat by 1/2 – but then again I am a baby when it comes to spice.

Tea Braised Lam Stew (serves 4)

1 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat

1 cup Five Spice Chile Tea Rub

3 tbsp grapeseed or canola oil

2 large onions, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

2 cups dry red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon is my fave)

Salt & Pepper

2 russet potatoes, 1 inch dice

2 sweet potatoes, 1 inch dice

How to:

In a large bowl, combine the lamb and the rub, allow to coat for 15min

Heat a small crockpot or saucepot over high heat, add 2 tbsp of oil and swirl to coat the pot

Add the lamb and brown, remove and set aside

Add last tbsp of oil, scrape the bits, add the onions, carrots and celery and sweat for 5 minutes

Add the wine and cook for 6-8 min; liquid should be reduced in half

Return the lamb to the pot, add enough water to cook the lamb (The smells’ are INCREDIBLE)

Season with salt and pepper

Continue to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding the potatoes in the last 30 minutes

Want to enjoy to enjoy with a glass of wine? The grapes in Genache/Syrah pairs well with Spicy food, and gamy meats. If you go into the Vintages sections of your local LCBO, we found the Saint – Roch Vielles Vignes Syrah/Grenache and it was delicious! (https://www.lcbo.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lcbo/saint-roch-vieilles-vignes-syrah-grenache-2017-195107#.X_okFthKiUk)

Wanting to check out more recipes in this great Cookbook –https://www.amazon.ca/Simply-Ming-Techniques-East-Meets-West-Meals/dp/0609610678/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=simply+ming&qid=1610229363&sr=8-1