Worldly Lamb Stews
Spring lamb is the meat of the season. And one of the best expressions of boldy flavored meat is the tender lamb stew, with a world of variations. So we put together an international blend of recipes that’s sure to delight the taste buds of any stew lover, from a classic Irish stew to a French ragout to a fragrant and warming Middle Eastern combo.
Irish Stew with Mint Sour Cream (pictured at left): Potatoes, carrots, onions, and herbs join lean lamb to create this classic Irish stew that crossed the pond with Irish immigrants back in the day. Now, Irish stew is as much a part of American cooking as it is in County Cork. This hearty stew has a dollop of mint-tinged sour cream, for a cool, minty note.
Middle Eastern Lamb Stew: The spices of the Middle East (cumin, coriander, and cayenne) make this lamb stew fragrant and complex. Spinach and chickpeas blend with lamb shoulder to create a blissfully tender stew when cooked at a leisurely low-temperature in the slow cooker.
Lamb and Bean Ragout: All the elements of a sophisticated French lamb stew (mushrooms, tomatoes, and white beans) come together in this quick and easy ragout. You can eat it on its own, with crusty bread to sop up the sauce, or serve it over pasta. Fresh basil as a garnish adds bright flavor.
Lamb Rogan Josh: Indian chef Vikram Sunderam created this stew (“lamb rogan josh” translates roughly into “red lamb”) using cardamom, cloves, and cumin. The result is a succulent lamb stew that is perfect served with Basmati rice and garnished with cilantro. (You can also use Madras curry powder in place of the individual spices.)