Basque Lamb Stew

Feel free to substitute some or all of the paprika with smoked paprika.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 4 hours
  • Marinating time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, about 1 tablespoon chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 10-ounce can roasted red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch strips
  • 1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry, full-bodied red wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Marinate lamb with garlic, rosemary, white wine: Combine the lamb, half of the garlic cloves, rosemary, and white wine in a medium bowl. Let marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

Lamb shoulder marinating in bowl for lamb stew

Drain the meat, discard the marinade, and pat dry with paper towels. Mince the remaining garlic cloves and set aside.

2 Brown the lamb: Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan with lid, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Salt the meat as it browns.

Raw Lamb Stew Pieces Marinating in bowl Browned lamb shoulder pieces in pan prepared for lamb stew

3 Sauté onions and garlic: Remove the meat from the pan and add the chopped onion to the pan. Cook, scraping browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute.

Sautéed onions in pan for lamb stew

4 Return meat to pan, add paprika, roasted peppers, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, red wine, bring to simmer: Return the meat to the pan with the onions and garlic. Stir in paprika, roasted peppers, tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, and red wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, allowing the liquids to reduce a bit.

Lamb Chunks with Roasted Red Peppers prepared for Lamb Stew Lamb stew cooking on stovetop in pan

5 Add chicken stock, simmer: Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add freshly ground black pepper and more salt to taste.

Serve with rustic bread. If you want, try garnishing with fresh mint leaves (though I have no idea how "Basque" that is, it just tastes good.)