Stewed Green Beans and Lamb

by Robert Booz

With dishes like this, it’s best to have green beans stewed for a long period of time, a custom common throughout the Mediterranean, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Here, lamb is a fitting match for the soft beans, while the tomato adds acidity. Try garnishing with mint, cilantro, or parsley, or even top with some crumbled feta cheese to add another texture.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. of green beans, trimmed and cut into 1½ inch pieces
  • ¾ pound of lamb stew meat cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 5 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken or lamb stock (or 1 cup water)
  • ½ stick of butter cut into dice-size pieces
  • ½ tsp. ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Stewed Green Beans and Lamb

Sybil Teles

This dish is as good room temperature as it is hot.

Set a large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add half the olive oil. Salt the stew meat and brown it on all sides, then remove from the pan. Add the remaining oil and cook the onions for 5 to 10 minutes. Add back in all the remaining ingredients except the garlic and butter, and bring to just about a boil. Then reduce the heat to low and let simmer, covered, for 2 to 3 hours, adding water or stock if necessary (it should be thick but not dry). Before serving, mince the garlic as finely as you can. Then, using the side of your knife and a bit of salt, grind it to a paste, or use a mortar and pestle. Stir in this garlic-paste and butter. Serve warm.

Recipe yields 6 servings.