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A (Wonderful) Lamb Stew

A (Wonderful) Lamb Stew

Tires of leftovers yet? Try this savory non-bird dish.

A (Wonderful) Lamb Stew
Lamb Stew
Photo Courtesy of:


  1. 1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
  2. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  3. 1/2 cup warm water
  4. 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  5. 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes
  6. 2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil
  7. 2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced
  8. 1 small lemon (preferably Meyer), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  9. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  10. 1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  11. 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  12. 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  13. 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  14. 1 cup dried figs, stems trimmed, quartered lengthwise (about 4 ounces)
  15. 2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth


  1. Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.)
  1. Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron in small bowl; let stand at least 20 minutes to infuse.
  1. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook lamb until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Pour all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or add 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture; stir, scraping up browned bits. Add tomatoes with juice, figs, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Add 2 1/2 cups broth.
  1. Bring stew to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, then cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer until meat is tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupful’s as needed if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and chill.)
  1. Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates over a healthy portion of wide cut noodles (hint: go to Whole Foods cheese kiosk and ask someone to cut you some fresh pasta to order…hmmmm; about 1/4lb per person should do it) top each serving with a dollop of minted yogurt.

Pair this dish with the Vidal-Fleury Côte Rôtie (750ml) – $54.99
This dish screams for a good Syrah-driven Rhone or a full bodied Cali Cabernet- preferably with a few years on it, such as, Neal Family Vineyards, Howell Mountain 2008.

Courtesy of: Richard and Claudia

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