Lamb, Fig & Olive Stew

Lamb, Fig & Olive Stew

2 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2008

Not your Irish grandmother's stew, this version was inspired by ingredients commonly used in the south of France: figs, green olives and herbes de Provence. To shorten the cooking time, we use ground lamb instead of lamb stew meat. Serve with toasted focaccia and a tossed salad.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 pound lean ground lamb, (see Kitchen Tip)
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons herbes de Provence, (see Ingredient Note)
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup chopped dried figs
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pitted green olives
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest


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  1. Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add lamb and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a sieve set over a bowl to drain; discard the fat.
  2. Wipe out the pan; add oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup garlic and herbes de Provence and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until slightly reduced, 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Combine broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan, increase the heat to high and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, figs, olives and pepper; return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the reserved lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Combine the remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, parsley and lemon zest in a small bowl. Serve the stew topped with the parsley mixture.
  5. Serves Two Variation: Halve all the ingredients except the cornstarch. Prepare the recipe in a large saucepan instead of a Dutch oven and use 2 teaspoons cornstarch (instead of 2 ablespoons) in Step 3 to thicken the stew.
  • Kitchen tip: It's not always easy to find lean lamb, but it's easy to grind your own. Choose a lean cut, such as leg or loin, trim any excess fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces. Pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground, being careful not to overprocess. Or ask your butcher to grind a lean cut for you. Ingredient note: Herbes de Provence is a blend of aromatic herbs including thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and sometimes lavender and/or aniseed. To make your own, mix equal amounts dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram and savory in a small jar. If desired, add a pinch of dried lavender and crushed aniseed.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1½ cups
  • Per serving: 317 calories; 10 g fat(2 g sat); 3 g fiber; 25 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 44 mcg folate; 77 mg cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 837 IU vitamin A; 18 mg vitamin C; 71 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 709 mg sodium; 816 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 4 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

Reviews 2

October 09, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
great with some additions this was absolutley delicious on a rainy, cold night. i added potatoes, carrots and celery and served it with challah bread Pros: easy to make
November 10, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
This was great. I did change it a bit by adding a little bit of red pepper flakes for a bite and I probably doubled the olives cause I wanted to finish the jar. Also green beans and spinach were on sale so I added them in, too, making it more of a one pot meal and eliminating the need for a side salad. Next time, because there will be a next time, I'll do the same.
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