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Lamb Stew with Pink Pearl Apples



  • 2 to 3 pounds leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 pounds Spanish onion, peeled, small dice
  • 2 pounds Pink Pearl or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced one inch
  • 1 pound young spinach, washed, trimmed and torn into pieces
  • 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 4 Persian dried limes, crushed into pieces (available at Middle Eastern markets, or visit sadaf.com)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 Navel oranges, zest removed and juiced
  • 3 lemons, zest removed and juiced
  • 10 cardamom pods, whole
  • 6 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon powdered allspice
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 300° F.

  1. In a large, heavy bottomed and oven-safe pot, melt the butter. Gently cook the onions over medium heat until they take on a light golden color.
  2. Add half of the diced apples, all the spices, orange and lemon zests and ginger, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the spices have blossomed.
  3. Season the lamb pieces generously with salt and pepper and add to the onion-spice mixture. Toss to make sure everything is mixed well.
  4. Add the lemon juice, orange juice and vinegar and reduce by half.
  5. Add enough water to the lamb and onion mixture to just barely cover it.
  6. Place the top on the pot and place in the oven at 300° F. (The rule of thumb for stews is 300 degrees for 3 hours.) Check for the tenderness of the lamb pieces after 2 1/2 hours. If the lamb has rendered too much liquid, ladle some of the liquid into a separate pot and reduce to your desired consistency, then add back to the stew.
  7. Toss the remainder of the cut apple and spinach with the stew and serve it with either rice or pasta.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!