Fasolia Bi Lahme (Middle Eastern Lamb and Stew)

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Lamb Shank Stew



  • 3–4 pounds American lamb shanks (2–3 lamb shanks)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cans of white cannellini beans, (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can substandard kidney beans if you can’t locate Cannellini beans
  • 1 (6 oz )can tomato paste,
  • 2 teaspoon Middle Eastern 7 Spices or mixed spice (it can be found online or at Middle Eastern grocery stores)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4–5 cups of broth from cooking lamb


  • 2 cups Jasmine rice, (or other long grain rice)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup cut Vermicelli noodles
  • 4 cups water or broth
  • Salt to taste


Prepare your lamb shanks by generously salting the exterior using a fine kosher salt, such as Diamond brand. For 2 shanks, I’ll use about 2-3 teaspoons and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat and place shanks to begin searing. Sear on all sides, flipping and placing on sides as needed until all sides are browned.

After browning, fill your pot with water, enough to cover the shanks.

Add in your cinnamon sticks and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

Once liquid comes to a boil, lower to a low simmer and allow shanks to cook for 2.5 hours until fork tender. Add liquid as needed to keep shanks covered. Every 30 minutes or so, move shanks around in pot to flip sides allowing to cook evenly.

Skim any scum that comes to the top of the surface as the lamb cooks.

Once shanks are tender, meat falling off the bone, remove carefully and drain liquid into a heatproof container, set aside.

Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and begin to cook your diced onions on medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook until translucent. Add 1 cup of your reserved broth to deglaze the pot.

Add your rinsed and drained beans and finally your tomato paste, 7 spice and 4-5 cups of your reserved broth. Nestle your shanks back into the pot (you may also remove the meat from the bone and add in). Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for another 20-25 minutes.

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Lebanese Rice

Begin by placing your rice in a bowl and fill with cold water. The water will be cloudy, drain and refill, gently working the rice between your fingers to allow the excess starch to release.

Repeat soaking rice and draining water 8-9 times, or until water runs clear. Set aside.

In a non-stick pot on medium-high, add your butter and then your vermicelli noodles.

Continue to stir watching to make sure noodles brown but don’t burn.

Once noodles are a golden brown, add your rinsed rice to the pot.

Cook rice for 4-5 minutes with the noodles and butter, continuously stir.

Add in your water/broth and allow to come to a boil on high heat.

Once pot comes to boil, reduce heat to low, cover pot and set timer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove from heat but leave lid on for another 10 minutes.

Fluff rice with fork and salt if you like. Enjoy with Fasolia.

USDA recommends the following time and temperature parameters

Ground Lamb

Internal temperature of 160°F

All Other Cuts

Internal temperature of 145°F, with a 3 minute rest

thermometer timer illustration
Visit our Lamb Cooking Time & Temperature page for recipe inspiration and tips on preparing the perfect lamb.

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