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2000s Recipes + Menus

Lamb Stew with Turkish Flavors

Serves6 to 8
  • Active time:25 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr
May 2009
The mild heat and deep flavor of Maras and Urfa peppers are wonderful not just in kebabs but also in soups and stews.
  • 2 lb lamb shoulder, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
  • 1 (15- to 19-oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves or minced dried Turkish apricots
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Maras pepper plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 teaspoon Urfa pepper plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 lb boiling potatoes (about 4 medium)
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 1/4 cup chopped oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • accompaniment:

  • Pat lamb dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in a wide 5- to 6-qt heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown lamb on all sides in 3 batches until golden-brown, 4 to 5 minutes per batch, transferring to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  • Add onions to pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden-brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in vinegar and cook, scraping up brown bits, until vinegar has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Return lamb with meat juices to pot. Stir in stock, chickpeas, preserves, and spices (including Maras and Urfa pepper) and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.
  • Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to stew (after 1 hour) and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and lamb are tender, about 30 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in currants, oregano, and lemon juice. Season with salt.
  • Serve sprinkled with additional Maras and Urfa pepper.
Cooks’ note: Stew improves in flavor if made at least 1 day ahead and keeps up to 3 days.