I know it seems strange to think of stews in the summertime, but if you live in some parts, like the San Francisco Bay Area, summer can be really chilly at times. Fortunately lamb marries perfectly with the vegetables that are taking over the garden right now–peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. The vegetables break down and thicken the sauce for this stew, giving it a very deep, rich, unctuous quality. My kids had no idea that they were basically scooping up eggplant sauce. Put a pot of this stew on the back of the stove and forget about it for an hour or two, then serve it with some rice or whole wheat or farro couscous and a tomato-red onion-feta salad for a perfectly delicious dinner on a cool summer evening.
This recipe calls for fresh tomatoes that have been peeled, seeded and chopped. For instructions on how to do this, see my recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce. If you don’t have time for this step, you can substitute canned tomato. This recipe could also be easily done in a crockpot on low for 6-8 hours, just be sure that you brown the meat very well before adding it to the crockpot. The browning of the meat gives this dish its rich flavor. I adapted this recipe from The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos.
|Spiced Lamb Stew with Eggplant, Tomatoes and Peppers||
- 2 pounds lamb stew meat, in 1″ cubes
- 2 TBLS olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium eggplant, diced (about 2 cups)
- 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp allspice, ground
- 1/2 tsp coriander, ground
- 1 tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- 2 TBLS chopped parsley
- In a heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat.
- Brown the lamb cubes well on all sides, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper as you brown.
- Remove the lamb cubes (set aside in a bowl) and add the onions, pepper and garlic.
- Saute until the onions, peppers and garlic are soft and tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant, tomatoes, bay leaf, water, spices and lamb.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and gently simmer for about 90 minutes, until the meat is tender.
- Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
- Sprinkle with chopped parsley just before serving.