• Amazing Lamb, Squash and Chickpea Stew

    2 votes
    Amazing Lamb, Squash and Chickpea Stew
    Prep: 20 min Cook: 2 hours Servings: 5
    by John Spottiswood
    300 recipes
    We served this fantastic dish over Memorial Day weekend with friends up in Point Reyes, California. The days were warm, but the evening turned chilly Saturday night, providing the perfect setting for a warm lamb stew. This stew is a wonderful mix of sweet, salty and spicy, vegetable, legume, and meat. The broth is thin, almost to he point of being soupy, which we enjoyed as the rice absorbed the broth. If you want a thicker stew, you could thicken it with a roux of butter an flour or butter and cornstarch. We had some gluten-allergic guests so we didn't, and ended up very happy with the thinner broth. We served this over a mix of brown and white jasmine rice. Our friends mostly had seconds and thirds and raved about the flavor. Everything that wasn't demolished Saturday was finished Sunday. This is another variation on a wonderful recipe from James Villas's "Stews, Bogs and Burgoos" cookbook, which he credits to Paula Wolfert." This stew isn't a lot of work, but you do need to be around to tend to it for over an hour. So pour a glass of wine and enjoy as it fills your home with wonderful smells!


    • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, or leg, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 inch cubes
    • 3 Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium onion chopped
    • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
    • 1 1/2 cups water
    • 3 pounds butternut squash or kabucha, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch chunks
    • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or canned)
    • 1 large, ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 teaspoons fresh mint or basil, chopped
    • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons paprika (hot if you have it)
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


    1. In a large pot, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat, then add the lamb and sprinkle with 1 tsp of the black pepper. Cook until the lamb is lightly browned and most of the juice is evaporated, 7-8 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7-8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, reduce heat to medium, and cook stirring until the mixture caramelizes, about 10 minutes. Add the water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meat is tender about 45 minutes.
    2. Add the squash, chickpeas, tomato, garlic, salt, and enough water to just cover the ingredients. Return to a boil, then reduce to simmer, cover, and cook about 30 minutes until the squash is tender.
    3. Stir in the lemon juice and the chopped mint or basil and remove the pot from the heat. Season with salt to taste and transfer to a serving dish.
    4. In a small sauce pan, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of oil until sizzling. Remove from heat then add the paprika, red pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Swirl for an instant and then stir into the stew and serve immediately.
    5. Note to parents: We made a double quantity of the stew and added the paprika/pepper mix a the end only to about 2/3 of the stew leaving the less spicy stew for the smaller kids. Our 12 and 15 year olds were both happy with the spicy stew, but our 6 and 10 years olds were happy with the less spicy version. Both are very flavorful!

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    • Suzee Woods
      Suzee Woods
      Sounds fabulous, must try this soon. Thanks for posting.

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