Spicy Lamb Stew with Green Olives

Australian lamb is famous worldwide, but olives, which were brought to Australia by early Mediterranean immigrants, are a less well-known national ingredient.

Slideshow: More Amazing Lamb Recipes

  • Servings: 6

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  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 cups lamb stock, or 1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium beef broth mixed with 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 pound cracked green or Calamata olives (2 cups), pitted and halved
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Fragrant Orange Rice

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, enameled cast-iron casserole. Add half of the lamb in a single layer, season with salt and black pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer the lamb to a platter. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and lamb.

  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat in the casserole. Add the onions, garlic, anchovies, coriander, cumin and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onions are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the casserole and add the stock, wine and oregano. Cover partially and simmer over low heat until the meat is tender, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a platter. Boil the liquid in the casserole over high heat until it is reduced by one-fourth, about 20 minutes. Skim the fat from the surface of the sauce. Return the lamb to the casserole and stir in the olives, parsley, cilantro and vinegar. Season the stew with salt and black pepper and serve with the Fragrant Orange Rice.

Make Ahead

The stew can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Reheat before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

Match this spicy, meaty stew with a full-throttle, peppery Australian Shiraz.

Contributed By Published May 1999

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