With a Japanese mother and Haitian father, tennis pro and Mastercard ambassador Naomi Osaka grew up with a strong appreciation of both cultures. Naturally, her fondness extends to food, which her mother, Tamaki, continues to prepare for the back-to-back Grand Slam champion. In this recipe—perfect for a Mother’s Day lunch or dinner—Naomi shares her favorite recipe from her mother’s culinary repertoire, an inspiring blend of Caribbean and Asian flavors.
This recipe has a special place in my heart. My mom created it from scratch and it’s a fusion of Japanese and Caribbean cuisine, which, of course, resonates with my life. I would definitely describe my two favorite styles of food as Japanese and Haitian, so this is a match made in heaven for my taste buds. I have fond memories of this dish for as long as I can remember. More recently, I have happy recollections of my mom cooking for my entire team at one of the Grand Slams where we share a house. She takes charge of all the cooking and housekeeping, making it feel like a home away from home. Her stew always brings me comfort, no matter where I am in the world. I hope she doesn’t mind me sharing her secrets - it’s a recipe I’m proud of and want to shout about from the rooftops. There is no better cook than my mom. The catch is that she never actually measures everything – she does it all by taste and feel. Below are some estimates. I’ve made it a few times myself and while my version tastes great, I haven’t reached my mom’s level of perfection yet. – N.O.
TAMAKI OSAKA’S LAMB STEW
Download recipe: Priceless Cookbook - Naomi Osaka Lamb Stew
- Medium Cast-iron pot
INGREDIENTS FOR FOUR – SIX PEOPLE
- 2 pounds lamb neck fillets, at room temperature
- Salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 pound carrots, washed and sliced
- 8-10 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped into large pieces
- 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound button mushrooms, cleaned
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- Generous handful of fresh thyme and rosemary, chopped
- 3-4 bay leaves
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup red wine (rioja or any other)
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce (1-2 tablespoons)
- Splash of soy sauce (1-2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- Butter for frying (roughly 2 tablespoons)
- Chop lamb into large chunks. Season with salt and pepper.
- Chop and prepare other ingredients. Set aside.
- Add enough butter to cast iron pot to coat the bottom. Turn heat to medium.
- Add lamb and let cook for ten minutes, stirring only occasionally.
- Turn off heat and transfer meat to separate bowl.
- Leave the remaining oil in the pot and add shallots and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until slightly softened.
- Add garlic and flour and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute to thicken.
- Add wine and stir. Cook for a few minutes on high heat to reduce.
- Add beef stock, ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.
- Return meat to pot and add bay leaves, chopped herbs, and carrots.
- Add whole mushrooms. If it needs more liquid for ingredients to be slightly immersed, add a little bit more beef broth.
- Place into the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about one hour. Add potatoes and return to oven. Cook for one more hour. Check occasionally.
- When the meat and potatoes are tender, it’s ready.
*Notes from Mrs. Osaka:
Measurements above, particularly for seasonings, are estimates. Rather than adding too much up front, it’s best to just keep tasting and calculate the taste after the boiling/simmering process. The flavors and degree of saltiness will only intensify the longer it cooks, so err on the side of mild seasoning, and adjust later if necessary. The easiest way is to use Mrs. Dash (it’s a spice/herb seasoning sold in the grocery store) and sprinkle to taste.