I came across this recipe a few weeks ago and I thought it sounded delicious so I printed a copy. Over the weekend I made it. I was so disappointed. First of all the stew was watery, second it lacked any flavor, and finally I wasted my heard earned money on lamb. I even tried marinating the meat in the spices for 2 hours and used the lamb bones from the lamb shoulder. That did not add any flavor. I cut down on the broth because there was too much liquid from the tomatoes, and there still was too much liquid in the end. I hate wasting food but after giving the stew another shot the following day, it is going out into the garbage.
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
From EatingWell: January/February 2008
This brothy stew is boldly flavored with a blend of characteristic Middle Eastern spices and finished with fresh spinach and fiber-rich chickpeas. Economical lamb shoulder tenderizes beautifully when leisurely cooked in a slow cooker. If you can't find boneless shoulder stew meat, do not substitute more-expensive lamb leg—it tends to dry out during slow cooking. Instead, purchase lamb shoulder chops and debone them. Serve over bulgur and accompany with a salad.
25 Reviews for Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
This stew came together quickly and easily. I used regular spinach instead of baby spinach, so that added to the prep time. Canned chick peas (AKA, garbanzo beans) worked very well.
I cooked it on low for the minimum length of time (5 1/2 hours) and consequently the meat was still a little chewy. The flavors were very well balanced. I like spicy food and this was definitely on the mild end of the scale but by no means bland. The warmth of the seasonings harmonized nicely with the umami of the meat juices and the vegetable bitterness of the spinach.
I will definitely be preparing this dish again.
I made this with dry chickpeas and lentils (with the lamb). I soaked the peas and lentils in water for about 6 hours, drained them and added them to the crock pot. I cooked everything for about 5 hours on high. Served with mashed potatoes (we'd had rice and pasta just earlier this week). My 7 year old didn't care for it due to the onions, and my husband liked it. I loved it. Our 1.5 yr old didn't like it. I'll make it again and increase the spices a little. Next time I'll probably make it with either venison or goat.
I'm surprised by the number of comments about spiciness on here. I found it to be quite bland and feel it needed more "oomph." I would probably cut out the chicken broth (not necessary - too watery) and double the spice rub. I might even let the meat marinate overnight for more flavor. Esentially it was just "meh," all around.
This stew seems very worth it... Slow roasting it now and altered the recipe to increase flavor, leaving the spare bones in the crockpot. Used crushed red pepper rather than cayenne and it won't end up so spicy but have a zest to it. Been eating alot of lamb dishes and this seems the most complex mixture of savory flavors. EXCITED!