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.

Patsy Jamieson
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2008




Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


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. Refr

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

Nutrition Facts

253 calories; protein 19.3g; carbohydrates 12.4g; dietary fiber 4.6g; sugars 2.9g; fat 14.2g; saturated fat 5.1g; cholesterol 58.8mg; vitamin a iu 2154.7IU; vitamin c 16.2mg; folate 57.8mcg; calcium 97.8mg; iron 3.3mg; magnesium 54.1mg; potassium 569.8mg; sodium 411.9mg; thiamin 0.7mg.

Reviews (10)

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31 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 13
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 3
  • 1 star values: 2
Rating: 5 stars
Great recipe. I always tweak recipes a bit and i did here to season to my taste this was great for portions and time:). I did add some garam masala and cumin but i like things spicey. My guests lived it. Thanks Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Truly enjoyed this! I just tossed everything into the crockpot - did not bother simmering the tomatoes broth and garlic. Because it was a little watery I decided to add a cup of rice an hour before it was finished and that made it nice and thick. I also bought bone-in lamb accidentally so I ended up with about a pound of lamb and I think that was good as lamb is pretty flavorful. I think more would have made it over powering. Definitely will make again. I was careful to cook on low for only 6 hours. I hate overcooked crockpot food. Pros: Simple and delicious Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Tasty I had some boneless leg of lamb steaks that the butcher cut too thin. I decided to cut them up into chunks. I added extra fresh ground coriander (5 tsp) extra cumin (4 tsp) extra garlic (6 cloves) and 2 very large onions I did not pre-saute anything. I used 1/4 cup organic chicken bouillon paste with out adding extra water(the onions and tomato will create the extra liquid). I let it cook on high all day. When the stew was done we separated most of the stew and liquid to cover in a serving dish and added couscous to the remaining liquid in the crock pot letting that cook for 5 min. Sprinkled finishing sea salt to taste and a Mediterranean spice called Ras el Hanout which put it over the edge of fantastic! This is a keeper even for me. I am not partial to over cooked meats. Pros: Simple & Quick don't forget your crock pot liner for no mess clean up Cons: Not for us Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I used beef shoulder instead of lamb (lamb shoulder was really expensive!). Beef worked fine and the shoulder was tender. I added a layer of green pepper and eggplant above the onion - definitely a good addition. I also doctored up the seasonings to include minced ginger (about 3T) cinnamon and Isot Chili (dried turkish chili - smoky and yummy!) and then let it all marinate for about 45 minutes before layering in the other items. I also added orange zest and cinnamon stick to the tomato/broth mixture as well as some red wine and pomegranate juice (about 1/3c each). Extra seasonings and vegetables really made this dish sing! Pros: Easy Cons: Needs some zip Read More
Rating: 4 stars
We used beef instead of lamb and it turned out perfectly. It tasted even better as left-overs the next day. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
A hit 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. Pros: Delicious easily assembled Cons: Lamb stew meat was surprisingly hard to find Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Excited! 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! Pros: Flavorful Cons: Prep time Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really Delicious! My husband and I just finished gobbling this up! It was sublime! So flavorful; the meat ended up so super tender!! The spices are awesome! I cut the recipe in half but used the whole amounts of spices for both of us and it was perfect!! My husband is Middle Eastern and he said this was better than his mother's lamb stew!! I served it over couscous...really wonderful and couldn't be easier! Pros: So easy!! Wonderfully Delicious! Cons: None! Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Not great but all right Made according to the instructions this stew smells great but doesn't have much flavor even the second day. I didn't have cayenne so I used a combo of smoked chipotle chili and curry powder but it didn't help much. Also the recipe says not to use lamb roast instead of chops because of dryness -- this wasn't exactly true for me. I found that using a trimmed lamb roast was actually preferable to duelling with bone-in chops. The meat was not dry at all and extremely tender. Overall this is a good recipe but you really need to play with it to bump up the flavor. Read More