Chef Paddy Rawal’s dish has origins in Portugal, as a stew marinated in wine vinegar and garlic, called carne de vinha d’alhos (meat in garlic marinade). Portuguese traders transported spices throughout the world. In Goa, the locals added their own favorite flavors to create vindaloo. It’s typically very spicy, but you can vary the heat by decreasing the amount of chile.
1½ pounds boneless lamb stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
14 tablespoons olive oil (¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons), divided
1 cup red onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups chicken stock
6 red chiles, fresh or dried, seeded and roughly chopped (choose a mild chile, like Fresno)
8 sticks of cinnamon (or substitute 4 teaspoons ground)
½ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon black pepper, crushed
Prepare the lamb by rinsing it in cold water, blotting dry with paper towels, and trimming any excess fat.
Prepare the marinade by grinding the red chiles and cinnamon sticks in a blender. Place in a large bowl and stir in vinegar and pepper. Stir in the lamb and allow to marinate, covered and refrigerated, for an hour.
Place all sauce ingredients in a clean blender and purée until smooth.
Heat half of olive oil in a large sauté pan and fry the potatoes until slightly softened and lightly browned; set aside.
Heat remaining oil in a heavy-duty Dutch oven, add the onions, and sauté on medium heat until golden brown. Stir in the sauce and cook until the onions soften.
Add the lamb and simmer for 6 minutes. Add stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to low, cover, and simmer until lamb is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the potatoes. Serve.