Middle Eastern Lamb Stew
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.Yield: 8 servings, about 1 cup each
Active Time: 40
Total Time: 255
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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 Per Serving
|fat||15 g (5 g sat, 6 g mono)|
Nutrition Bonus Vitamin C (30% daily value), Vitamin A (25% dv), Iron (20% dv).
Carbohydrate Serving 1
Exchanges 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat
From EatingWell January/February 2008