Lamb stew is one of my favorites, especially on cold days. As the weather is warming up, I opted for a lighter version in the following recipe, which is a complete meal in itself.
The dish doesn’t require many ingredients and is very easy to assemble. Once done with the initial cooking, the braising in the oven doesn’t require much attention.
The tasty combination of eggplants and tomatoes paired beautifully with the flavor of the lamb, and the spices, wine, honey and cilantro added more layers of flavors and aroma. The potatoes get a wonderful, deep flavor and texture, from absorbing the cooking liquids, and from the lengthy braising, and make a perfect side for the stew. Try it and enjoy.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 3½ hours
3 Tbs olive oil
1.5 lbs (680 grams) lamb shoulder chops, bone in
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut into large cubes
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
½ tsp cayenne powder
½ tsp cumin powder
1 cup beef stock
1 cup fruity white wine
2 tsp honey
6-7 medium potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled and halved
½ cup roughly chopped cilantro + for serving (or parsley)
1. Heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a large flat pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb, sprinkle some of the salt and pepper on top, and fry for 2-3 minutes on both sides, until golden. Remove to a plate and keep in a warm place.
2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pot, and add the eggplant. Season with some of the salt and pepper, mix and fry for 2-3 minutes, until it starts to brown. Add the garlic, mix and fry for another minute. Add the cherry tomatoes, cayenne, cumin powder and rest of the salt and pepper, mix and fry for another minute.
3. Place the lamb back into the pot, and add the stock, wine and honey. Mix gently, bring to the boil, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add the potatoes and cilantro on top, cover the pot and cook on medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 250F (120C). Transfer the pot to the oven and braise for 2 hours.
5. Uncover the pot and place back in the oven for 30-40 minutes longer.
6. The stew is ready for serving at this point, but will taste even better after a night in the fridge. When ready to serve, bring it back to the boil, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro on top before serving.