Lamb Stew With Cardamom

By aargersi
February 2, 2011
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Author Notes: This stew is thick and rich and perfumed with cardamom in tomato goodness - I made and ate it last night but I think it will be better today, so if you can start a day ahead of time by all means, do! aargersi

Serves: depends how hungry you are doesn't it?


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon green cardamom pods
  • 1 teaspoon whole fenugreek seed
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-5 turns of the peppermill
  • zest from 1 orange


  • 1 pound lamb stew meat - my butcher cuts a nice sized 1" stew meat from the leg
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup canned whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon grains of paradise (sub pepper if you don't have this - but really you should get some!)
  • 1/2 cup low salt beef stock or broth - of course homemade is the best but use what you have
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  1. Make the marinade - warm 2 tbs olive oil in a skillet. Gently crush the spices and add them to the oil. When they just begin to pop turn off the heat - you will be able to smell how good they are. Whisk all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl, then add in the lamb. Marinate for at least an hour, and up to 3 (3 is better!).
  2. Now make the stew - heat the remaining 2 tbs oil in a large stew pot. Remove the lamb from the marinade and let it drain / dry. Make sure to get all of the cardamom husks out of there - if they sneak in and you bite on one it is bitter. Add the lamb to the pot and allow it to brown.
  3. Once the lamb is browned push it out to the edges and add the onion. Let that cook for a couple minutes, stirring gently, then add the garlic. Stir for a couple more minutes. Now add the tomato sauce, spices, OJ and beef broth. Hand crush the whole tomatoes in there as well.
  4. Now it is just a matter of simmering until the lamb is tender. Ideally it should simmer on low for at least a couple of hours. The whole thing will smell pretty amazing. If (when) it starts to get too thick just add a little water. After about 45 minutes or so taste and add salt if you need to - depends on how salty your stock is really.
  5. Enjoy on a cold night with some good grilled bread and a glass of wine. Forget about how cold it is outside.

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