Fragrant lamb stew

This recipe comes from Margo Kaiser, with whom I used to work. It's a delicious stew, spiced fragrantly but not hot. It's one of my favorites. It's also very easy. The most tedious work is trimming the lamb, and you can get the butcher to take care of that.

The spice mixture is my attempt to re-create Margo's "secret spice" (she didn't offer that recipe). Feel free to try your own variations. If you hit on one that you feel is particularly good, please let me know about it.


(serves 6 to 8)


  1. In a stewpot, sautae onion in olive oil on medium-low heat until golden brown. Add garlic in the last 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add lamb cubes and sautae until brown.
  3. Add tomatoes, and simmer until meat is tender. Keep an eye on the liquid; add water or red wine if it becomes dry.
  4. Add bay leaves, lemon juice and spices. Simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours.
  5. About 1/2 hour before pronouncing it done, add the green beans.
  6. Serve with plain yogurt and pita bread.


I prefer to cook through step 4, refrigerate overnight, and then finish cooking the next evening. This greatly enhances the flavor. When you take the stew from the refrigerator, skim any lamb fat that has congealed on the top before continuing.

I find that many butchers don't understand that I want good quality meat in stews. I get better quality, more carefully trimmed meat by telling them that I want lamb cubes cut for shish kebab.


Difficulty: easy.
Time: 20 minutes preparation, several hours cooking.
Precision: measure the spices.


Nancy Mintz 
UNIX System Development Lab, AT&T-IS, Summit, New Jersey, USA 
Recipe last modified: 13 Aug 86

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Path: decwrl!reid
From: nlm@attunix (Nancy Mintz)
Subject: RECIPE: Lamb stew
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Date: 13 Nov 86 06:48:49 GMT
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