Persian Lamb Stew
This Welsh lamb stew recipe is packed with so much flavour! Melt in the mouth cubes of lamb simmered with fragrant spices, ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses – my take on Persian Lamb Stew. Easy to make on the hob, Instant Pot or slow cooker.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
For the stew
- 130 g | 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 onions , finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Small piece orange peel
- 900 g | 2 pounds diced lamb shoulder , fat trimmed
- 90 g | ¾ cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbsp honey
- 500 ml | 2 cups hot chicken stock (broth) from a cube
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley to garnish
- 1 tbsp chopped mint to garnish
For the rice
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 450 g | 2 cups basmati rice
- 950 ml | 4 cups hot vegetable stock or water
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4 tsp salt
Lamb stew on the hob
Toast your walnuts for maximum flavour… You can do this in the same casserole dish you make the stew in or in the oven. Either way watch them like a hawk lest they burn. Once the walnuts start colouring transfer them to a mini chopper and grind to a fine powder.
Heat olive oil and butter in your casserole until butter starts foaming. Add the onions, cover the pot and cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don’t let them colour or catch.
Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon stick and orange peel, cooking for a minute or two.
Add the lamb, stirring to coat in the aromatic spices. If the pan gets dry, add a little of the stock and scrape any browned bits in the pan.
Drizzle in the pomegranate molasses and honey. Add the dried cranberries stirring to combine.
Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer.
Add the ground walnuts, stir to combine then cover the pot and cook on very low heat for about an hour. Open the casserole and give the stew a good stir every 20 minutes or so to make sure the walnuts are not sticking. By the the of your cooking time most of the liquid will have cooked down and the stew will be thick and glossy brown.
Discard the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley and mint. Scatter jewel-like pomegranate seeds over the stew and serve.
Instant Pot lamb Stew
Select ‘Sauté’ and toast the walnuts for a few minutes, stirring. Use a slotted spoon to remove the walnuts and then grind them to a fine powder.
Add the butter and oil and heat until butter starts foaming. Cancel Sauté then adjust to lowest heat setting. Cook the onions until very soft, 15-20 minutes, stirring often so they don’t stick.
Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon stick and orange peel.
Add the lamb, stirring to coat in the aromatic spices. If the pan gets dry, add a little of the stock and scrape any browned bits.
Add the pomegranate molasses, honey, dried cranberries and chicken stock. Stir in the ground walnuts.
Cover and set vent to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes and allow for 10 minute natural release before manually releasing the steam.
Discard the cinnamon stick and orange peel. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chopped parsley, mint and pomegranate seeds.
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a lidded pot. If making golden rice then stir in half a teaspoon of ground turmeric, 5 whole cardamom pods, a cinnamon stick and a bay leaf. Stir to allow the spices to infuse the butter.
Add white basmati rice (no need to rinse) to the pot and stir to coat in the fragrant butter.
Add hot vegetable stock (or water) it should start simmering straight away. Stir once then cover the pot tightly and reduce heat to lowest setting. Leave to cook for 10 minutes without opening the pot.
Remove the lid and check the rice - almost all of the liquid should have been absorbed. Stir once with a gentle folding action.
Take the pot off the heat, cover with the lid and leave for another ten minutes for soft fluffy rice. Remove and discard the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom pods. Season to taste and serve.
Lamb Stew Tips and FAQS
Can I make this recipe without the walnuts? For an authentic Persian stew the walnuts are a must. But I would hate for you to lose out on this tasty recipe if you are allergic or dislike walnuts. Simply leave them out and consider adding one can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained instead.
How long will this recipe keep? You can store in the fridge for up to three days. Don’t add any garnishes if you intend to store, add them when serving.
Can I freeze this stew? It freezes beautifully! Leave out any garnishes then freeze in portions once it has cooled down completely. Defrost in the fridge overnight or using a microwave. You might need to add a little water when reheating as the stew will be quite thick. Always make sure that food is piping hot all the way through before serving.
Calories: 1565kcal | Carbohydrates: 140g | Protein: 61g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 47021mg | Potassium: 931mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 173IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 229mg | Iron: 5mg