Lamb Stew with Dried Fruit, Chestnuts and Pomegranate Syrup

I realize that a cookbook author shouldn't admit to favorities, but I can't resist this exquisite lamb dish. The fruit, the chestnuts, the pomegranate syrup -- all join up with tender lamb to create heaven on a plate! ~  Ann Kleinberg
    * 1/4 cup olive oil
    * 2 yellow onions, chopped
    * 5 cloves garlic, sliced
    * 3 pounds lamb stew, cut into 2-inch cubes
    * 1 teaspoon salt
    * 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    * 3 carrots, peeled and cut in thirds on the diagonal
    * 1 leek, white part only, sliced
    * 1 cup beef stock, or 1 bouillon cub dissolved in 1 cup water
    * 1 cup dry red wine
    * 3 tablespoons tomato paste
    * 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    * Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
    * 3/4 cup dried apricots
    * 3/4 cup prunes, pitted
    * 1/4 cup Pomegranate Syrup
    * 1 cup chestnuts, roasted and shelled
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the lamb, salt, pepper, and turmeric. Brown the lamb on all sides.

Add the carrots, leek, stock, wine, tomato paste, vinegar, cinnamon, thyme, and lemon zest.
Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low; cover, and cook for 45 minutes.

Add the apricots, prunes, and pomegranate syrup.

Stir well, cover, and cook for 30 minutes longer.

Add the chestnuts, cover, and cook for 15 minutes longer. 

The lamb should be tender and the vegetables, soft but not mushy.

Pomegranate Syrup

4 cups pomegranate juice

     When making pomegranate syrup, you can use freshly squeezed or store-bought pomegranate juice (buy only pure juice, without sugar or flavorings added). You will need a large amount to start with; try it with 4 cups as there is a lot of evaporation in the cooking process. Depending on how thick you like your syrup, 4 cups of juice will reduce to yield about 2 cups of syrup.

     Pour the juice intoa saucepan or skillet and bring to a steady boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to maintain a steady, low bubbling, and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. After about 20 to 30 minutes the juice will have reduced by about one-half and will start to thicken.

     To test consistency, dip a spoon in the syrup -- if it comes out relatively clean, continue cooking. If the spoon is coated and the syrup takes its time about sliding off, you've done it!

     Pour the cooled syrup into a jar and close tightly. It will keep in the refrigerator for 6 months. Makes about 2 cups.


by Ann Kleinberg
Lamb Stew
Lamb Stew



Dutch Oven
Dutch Oven



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