I like to have lamb for my birthday, preferably Greek Barbequed Lamb. Tuesday is my “Big 6-0,” so I really wanted something with lamb. There is a Winter Spare the Air Alert for San Jose, so BBQ was not possible. I decided to do a lamb stew instead, Greek of course. I looked at many “Greek Lamb Stew” recipes on-line, and while many of them seemed good, I thought I could do better.
When I create a recipe I usually download someone else’s recipe that is close to what is in my head and then I tweak and twist until I get what I’m looking for. For this recipe when I was done, including changes I made on the fly as I was cooking, I had altered nearly everything. The ingredients, the amounts and even the cooking techniques were completely different from the recipe I had started with. This recipe cannot be said to be “adapted from” another, but “created by” Karl.
This was an incredible recipe. Jan doesn’t even like lamb and she loved this dish.
Karl’s Greek Lamb Stew
1 cup dry garbanzo beans
4 lbs lamb shoulder
1 ½ tsp, cumin, fresh ground
salt and pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, ½ crushed, ½ sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1½ cups lamb or chicken broth
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 tsp. anchovy paste
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. lemon zest, grated
2 bay leaves
2 inches cinnamon stick
1 cup pearl onions
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Soak the garbanzo beans overnight.
2. Cut lamb into bite sized pieces, removing the large lumps of fat. Use the bones and scraps to make the lamb broth (or for Scotch Broth at another meal.)
3. Crush half of the garlic, and season the lamb with the garlic, cumin, salt & pepper and the let the meat rest for 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 250° F.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a Dutch oven, until shimmering, reduce the heat to medium high and brown the lamb in batches. Add a bit of oil as necessary.
6. Transfer the lamb to a bowl and scrap up the browned bits on the bottom and add them to the bowl.
7. Add the last tablespoon of oil to the Dutch oven and use the moisture released from them to deglaze the pot. Sauté the onions until they start to caramelize.
8. Slice the rest of the garlic and add it and the brown sugar to the onions and continue sautéing for 2 – 3 minutes.
9. Add the garbanzo beans, lamb and the rest of the ingredients, except for the parsley, to the Dutch oven.
10. Bring the stew to a boil, and transfer the Dutch oven to a 250° oven for 3 – 4 hours.
11. Thirty minutes before serving add the pearl onions and remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick.
12. Mash a few of the garbanzo beans against the side of the pot to thicken the stew. Stir them in and continue cooking.
13. Stir in most of the chopped parsley and check the seasoning.
14. Sprinkle the last of the parsley on top and serve.