March 31, 2023

African Lamb and Vegetable Stew




Marinated American lamb chops with rosemary & garlic on a plate


  • 6 to 8 pounds American Lamb boneless leg
  • 6 cups lentils
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups yellow onion, brunoised
  • 6 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 carrots, brunoised
  • 12 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 gallons lamb broth
  • 4 cans (15 ounce each) garbanzo beans
  • 2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted & halved
  • 2 cups golden raisins
  • 2 cups cilantro
  • 4 teaspoons lemon peel
  • As desired garnishes: cilantro leaves and lemon peel



In a rondeau or stock pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Trim the lamb leg; cut into 1‑1/2-inch chunks. Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, add the lamb to the pan and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a sheet tray to hold. 

Add onion, sweet potatoes, carrots and garlic to pan. Cook until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add pepper, paprika, salt and cumin; stir 1 minute. Add broth, garbanzo beans, olives, raisins and cilantro; bring to a boil. 

Add the lamb back in the stew along with any accumulated juices on the sheet tray. Add lemon peel. Continue to cook until lamb is tender and falling apart, about 30 minutes. 

If desired, garnish with additional cilantro leaves and lemon peel.

Chef Tips:

·       You can use preserved lemon instead of lemon peel if desired. The preserved lemon will add a hint of saltiness to the dish so adjust seasonings as needed.

·        Lentils add protein and fiber to the stew. Any type of hearty whole grain (quinoa, bulgur wheat or farro) could be substituted for the lentils.

·        If you want to use an olive other than Kalamata in this dish, consider a green olive such as a Picholine or a Cerignola.


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