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Middle Eastern Lamb Stew

January/February 2008

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (128 votes)

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.



READER'S COMMENT:
"So easy and very, very tasty. I'm new to slow cooking and this is the 4th recipe I've tried. It is by far the most flavorful. The combination of spices is delicious. My only thought for improvement is that it would be nice if the lamb...
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew Recipe

Makes: 8 servings, about 1 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat, (shoulder cut) or 2 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder chops, deboned, trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, or canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15- or 19-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 6 ounces baby spinach

Preparation

  1. Place lamb in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Mix oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Coat the lamb with the spice paste and toss to coat well. Top with onion.
  2. Bring tomatoes, broth and garlic to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour over the lamb and onion. Cover and cook until the lamb is very tender, 3 to 3 1/2 hours on high or 5 1/2 to 6 hours on low.
  3. Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew. Mash 1/2 cup chickpeas with a fork in a small bowl. Stir the mashed and whole chickpeas into the stew, along with spinach. Cover and cook on high until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Tips & Notes

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare the stew, omitting the spinach, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 4 months. Add spinach after the stew is reheated. | Prep ahead: Trim lamb and coat with spice mixture. Chop onions. Combine broth, tomatoes and garlic. Refrigerate in separate covered containers for up to 1 day.

Nutrition

Per serving: 319 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat, 6 g mono); 92 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrates; 30 g protein; 5 g fiber; 494 mg sodium; 238 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv), Iron (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat



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