Lamb and eggplant stew combine two traditional Lebanese ingredients into a tasty stew. Warm spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon turn this savory lamb stew into something truly special.
There’s something really satisfying about eggplants. They soak up flavors like nobody’s business, and it’s no wonder they’re a staple of middle eastern cooking. We’ve been slowly working out way through The Lebanese Kitchen, which has dozens of eggplant recipes along with nearly 100 tasty lamb recipes.
What I love about this particular recipe are all the warm spices. Cinnamon and nutmeg combine with the earthy flavors of lamb, and a bit of tomato adds brightness and acidity.
This particular stew is mildly spiced and it’s great for kids. My three-year-old daughter says “this is the best soup ever!” I’m not quite going to go that far, but it is darn tasty. Later that day she told me she told me, “Mama, your restaurant serves the best food. I love your restaurant.” I think she’s just buttering me up for more cookies…
None the less, I’ll take it!
Lamb Stew with Eggplant
- 1 large eggplant cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 6 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1 lb lamb boneless and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large onion diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 14 oz canned chopped tomatoes or fresh
- 2 cups lamb or beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice ground
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg preferably freshly grated
- 1 tsp salt
- fresh parsley to finish chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss the eggplant cubes in 2 tbsp olive oil and roast them for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Brown the lamb in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and then set it aside.
- Cook the onions and garlic in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil until they're tender and just starting to brown.
- At this point, all the ingredients (except parsley) are mixed together in either a slow cooker or dutch oven.
- Cook the stew on low for 2 1/2 to 3 hours in a dutch oven on the stovetop. Or, cook in a slow cooker on low for 4 to 8 hours.
- Add fresh parsley at serving time and enjoy with pita bread.