Turkish Lamb Stew

I try to find a whole roast and cut it into pieces myself, because that which is commonly sold as "stew meat" is invariably cut into pieces too small for a respectable stew. Lamb shanks can also be used for this dish, but not leg meat.

  • 1/4 pound dried chickpeas or Great Northern beans
  • 1 4-pound boneless lamb shoulder roast
  • Paprika, salt, and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 leek
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 carrot
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried herbs of choice
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch dill
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken (or other meat) stock

Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight.

Cut the lamb into 1 1/2-2-inch chunks, and season with paprika, salt, and pepper. Brown in olive oil in a wide pan over high heat, in batches, and transfer to a heavy pot. Pour off the oil, deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup of wine, and add it to the pot.

Chop the onion, leek, celery, and carrot; mince the garlic. Heat some more olive oil in the pan and sauté the vegetables with the dried herbs. Add to the pot with the bay leaves and half the parsley and dill, minced. Add a cup of wine and enough stock almost to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer for at least two hours, until tender.

Meanwhile, drain the beans and simmer in fresh salted water until nearly tender. When the meat is about done, add the beans and cook for a short while, boiling if necessary to thicken the sauce. Stir in the rest of the dill and parsley, minced.