Tender Lamb Stew

Start with lamb shoulder or stewing meat, add the vegetables and potatoes, and this stew will practically cook itself.
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You can make this stew in an oven, but if you use a slow cooker, all you have to do is set it up in the morning, and the dish will be ready by evening.* Slow cooking makes this lamb especially tender, and the aroma from the rosemary and lamb while they stew will make your mouth water. I love to add kale because it's packed with vitamin A and iron, but feel free to substitute spinach or Swiss chard.
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  • Total Time : 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Prep Time : 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Servings : 4


  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder or lamb stewing meat, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 28-ounce can peeled whole tomatoes in juice
  • 2 medium red potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 2 cups
  • 16 pearl onions, outer skins peeled, rinsed, root ends trimmed, about 2 cups
  • 4 cups kale, rinsed, thick stems removed, cut into 2-inch strips (see helpful tips for kale substitutes)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped, or 1 Tablespoon dried, divided in half
  • 1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper, or to taste

  • 1 cup water (if needed)


step 1Rinse lamb and pat dry with a paper towel. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven or pot. (See below for slow cooker instructions.)
step 2Brown the lamb in batches, making certain not to overcrowd the bottom of the pot. Turn the pieces with tongs or a large wooden spoon to brown evenly on all sides, about 6-8 minutes per batch. Remove to a large bowl. Carefully pour off all the fat from the pot.
step 3Return the pot to the heat. Stir in the tomato paste and canned tomatoes and their juices, breaking up the tomatoes and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or heat-resistant spatula. Place the browned lamb back into the pot and stir. If necessary, add just enough water to barely cover the lamb. When the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid simmers. Simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
step 4While the lamb is stewing, prepare all the vegetables as listed under ingredients. After the lamb has cooked for 1 1/2 hours, add the vegetables and half the rosemary to the pot, stirring them into the stewing liquid. Continue to simmer for another 30 minutes until the lamb and vegetables are very tender.
step 5Stir in the remaining rosemary and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.


*The instructions for making this dish in a slow cooker are the same as those shown above, with these modifications.

Slow cooker that can brown meat:

step 1Follow your slow cooker’s instructions accordingly.
step 2Set your slow cooker on medium. The cooking time will be about 8 hours.

Slow cooker that cannot brown meat:

step 1Brown the lamb in a skillet.
step 2There’s no need to pour off the fat because you will be moving the lamb to the slow cooker.
step 3Set your slow cooker on medium. The cooking time will be about 8 hours.
written by:
Diane, SC Johnson home care expert
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comments (4)
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recent comments
12/30/2012 , 
Heather  S.
The stew was delicious. This is the first time I have shared my thoughts on any recipe, which says a lot about the recipe. I did substitute the onions with one leek. I will definately make this stew again.
11/14/2010 , 
Chrissy  S.
Do people really still eat lamb around the Holidays? Seems so old hat.
1/5/2010 , 
Arrie  H.
I love lamb and because I'm allergic to chicken and other poultry, lamb takes a larger role in the meats that I cook. Lamb stew is always a favorite.
10/30/2009 , 
alice  b.
I LOVE IT !!!!!!!!

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Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: about 24 oz
Calories 560
Calories From Fat 180
Total Fat 20g
Saturated Fat 5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 145mg
Sodium 920mg
Total Carbohydrates 41g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 11g
Protein 53g
Nutritional information provided by
Compu-Food Analysis, Inc.