Food, lamb, Recipes, Rice

Lamb with Onions, Parsley, Tomatoes and Golden Raisins

Winter is still with us, and I was planning on yet another stew, this time of lamb. However, as the weather was not as chilly, and as lamb is quite heavy in itself, I wanted a lighter stew with lighter ingredients in it.Inspired by the Sephardic “sopado” dish, in which met is slowly cooked with onion, tomatoes and a large amount of parsley, I started by adding roughly cut onions to the meat, which were lightly sautéed. Even though it’s not the season for ripe tomatoes, I’ve decided to use them for color and acidity, in the form of good quality canned ones, as for long stewing, this is the second best option.
While parsley is usually used in small quantities, as a flavoring herb, here it is used in a large amount , as if it was spinach. This results a wonderful, unique fresh flavor.
Regressing from the original Sephardic recipe., to round it all up, I’ve added to the pot some golden raisins and a small amount of orange blossom honey, for a bit of balancing sweetness.
The result was just what I was looking for: a hearty yet light stew. Another bonus is that this tasty stew is quite quick to prepare, and once the pot is placed in the oven all that is needed is to keep an eye on it occasionally, and let the heat do the rest of the work. Try it and enjoy.

* As the amount of sauce was more than what was needed for serving the meat, I used the leftover sauce as a base for cooking rice. The result was a wonderful rice dish, which can be served along with the meat, or on its own, the day after.

Makes: 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Braising time: 2 ½ hours

1 lbs (455 grams) lamb shoulder blade chops
1 Tbs light olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly cut
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
¼ tsp hot paprika
1/3 cup golden raisins
1 large bunch parsley, roughly chopped (about 4 packed cups)
1 can (14.5 oz/410 grams) diced tomatoes
½ cup beef or chicken stock
1 Tbs honey, preferably orange blossom
For the rice (optional):
½ cup Basmati rice

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side. Add the onion, salt, pepper and hot paprika, mix gently and fry for 2-3 minutes, to coat the onions in the oil.

2. Add the raisins, parsley, tomatoes, stock, and honey. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

3. Preheat the oven to 250F (120C). Place the covered pot in the oven and braise for 1 hour. Lower the heat to 200F (95C), uncover the pot and keep on braising for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is almost falling off the bones.

For the rice: measure 2 cups of the remaining sauce in the pot and bring to the boil. Add the rice, mix gently and cover the pot. Lower the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, or until the rice is soft and all the liquids absorbed.

54 thoughts on “Lamb with Onions, Parsley, Tomatoes and Golden Raisins”

  1. I enjoy a good lamb dish and fresh parsley can be an excellent addition when used in the right recipe like this one. I recently made a lemon-parsley salad and it was excellent. I am down to salty honey, hot honey and lavender – I need to do a little shopping for some simple and flavored honeys. I love orange blossom 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Judi, I’m glad you liked the recipe. I use parsley often, but this is the first time I’ve added such a large amount to stew. It was so good, I will no doubt use it again, with other meats as well. I do like using different types of honey, though orange blossom honey would always be on the top of the list for me. 🙂


  2. I make a very similar stew on Pesach, but with prunes instead of raisins. I’ll try it your way this year, Ronit. Should be delicious! I also add a little lemon juice, to off set the gaminess of lamb, and I have substituted agave for honey, but that’s my own thing; my grandmother didn’t know from agave.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dolly. Dried fruits indeed go so well with lamb. I too made it with prunes, and also posted a recipe using dried apricots. Raisins would work well with Passover’s wine theme. 🙂
      As for agave instead of honey, it’s really a matter of choice, as I didn’t find convincing indication that it is healthier than honey. And I definitely prefer the aroma that honey adds to dishes, especially the orange blossom one. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dear Ronit, I’ll divulge my big secret: I don’t have a sense of smell. I lost it many years ago after a car accident and, strangely enough, my taste buds eventually compensated for it by getting more sensitive, so I won at the end.
        I tend to use agave simply because of lower sugar content, for my husband’s sake. Otherwise, I don’t think it’s healthier. As to dry fruit, in Azerbaijan, they make lamb stew with a mix of chopped dry fruit. They claim it’s an old Persian recipe, going back to Achashverosh’s big party. Have you heard of that one?
        Hag Purim Sameach!


        1. Sorry to hear about the accident. I’m glad you’ve managed to make the best out of this misfortune.
          Many cuisines make use of dried fruits in stews. I’m not familiar with this particular one, but love any version.
          חג שמח to you too! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

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