Most cultures don’t bother searing meat for stew. What do they know that we don’t?
Milk Street Bowtie No-sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew

No-sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew

2 hrs and 15 mins 40 mins active

Free

Chopping garlic produces harsh flavors. We prefer to use whole cloves, which lend a subtler flavor. We used the simmering stew to cook a whole head, turning it tender, silky and mellow. We tried dried and canned chickpeas but didn’t taste a big difference, so we opted for the ease of canned. We like the flavor and texture of lamb shoulder, but boneless beef chuck worked, too (but needs an extra cup of water and must cook longer, 90 minutes total, before adding the carrots). A dollop of yogurt on top is great as is, but we also liked it with a bit of chopped cilantro, lemon juice and a pinch of cayenne added. Lamb shoulder can vary in fattiness; be sure to trim it well to avoid greasy broth.

1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1¼ pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 cups water
½ pound carrots (2 to 3 medium) peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces
1 15½-ounce can chickpeas, drained
3 ounces baby spinach (about 3 cups)
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Whole-milk yogurt, to serve (optional)
Ingredients
  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼

    teaspoon cinnamon

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces

  • 1

    head garlic

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 6

    cups water

  • ½

    pound carrots (2 to 3 medium) peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces

  • 1

    15½-ounce can chickpeas, drained

  • 3

    ounces baby spinach (about 3 cups)

  • 1

    cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish

  • 3

    tablespoons lemon juice

  • Whole-milk yogurt, to serve (optional)

Water Into Flavor Thumbnail

MILK STREET BASICS

Turn water into flavor

Lamb Stew Poster

Milk Street Basic

Au revoir, Maillard!

Take a bite out of garlic Hero Image

Milk Street Cooking School

How to take the harshness out of garlic

Directions
  1. 01
    In a bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Reserve half of the spice mixture, then toss the lamb with the remaining spice mixture until well coated. Set aside. Cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact.
    See Demo
  2. 02
    In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. 
    See Demo
  3. 03
    Add the tomato paste and the reserved spice mixture, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then add the lamb and garlic head, cut side down. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle bubble. Add the carrots and continue to simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes.
    See Demo
  4. 04
    Using tongs, remove the garlic head and squeeze over the stew to release the cloves. Stir in the chickpeas and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.
    See Demo
    Add the chickpeas
  5. 05
    Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice, then season the stew with salt and pepper. Serve, topped with yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro.
    See Demo
    Season and Serve
Tip: Don’t use old spices. The backbone of the dish is the bold, vibrant spice mixture. Make sure yours are no more than a year old. Flat-leaf parsley can be substituted for the cilantro.
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No-sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

2 hrs and 15 mins

40 mins active

Tip

Don’t use old spices. The backbone of the dish is the bold, vibrant spice mixture. Make sure yours are no more than a year old. Flat-leaf parsley can be substituted for the cilantro.

Ingredients
  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2

    teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1

    teaspoon ground cardamom

  • ¼

    teaspoon cinnamon

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces

  • 1

    head garlic

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 6

    cups water

  • ½

    pound carrots (2 to 3 medium) peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces

  • 1

    15½-ounce can chickpeas, drained

  • 3

    ounces baby spinach (about 3 cups)

  • 1

    cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more to garnish

  • 3

    tablespoons lemon juice

  • Whole-milk yogurt, to serve (optional)

Water Into Flavor Thumbnail

MILK STREET BASICS

Turn water into flavor

Lamb Stew Poster

Milk Street Basic

Au revoir, Maillard!

Take a bite out of garlic Hero Image

Milk Street Cooking School

How to take the harshness out of garlic

Step 1 of 5

Toss the lamb and spices

1
tablespoon sweet paprika
2
teaspoons ground cumin
1
teaspoon ground cardamom
¼
teaspoon cinnamon
2
tablespoons salt
½
teaspoon pepper
pounds boneless lamb shoulder
1
head garlic

In a bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.


Reserve half of the spice mixture, then toss the lamb with the remaining spice mixture until well coated. Set aside.


Cut off and discard the top third of the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact.

Step 2 of 5

Brown the onion

2
tablespoons salted butter
1
large yellow onion, diced (about 2 cups)

In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown around the edges, 5 to 8 minutes. 

Step 3 of 5

Combine

2
tablespoons tomato paste
6
cups water
1
tablespoon sweet paprika
2
teaspoons ground cumin
1
teaspoon ground cardamom
¼
teaspoon cinnamon
2
tablespoons salt
½
teaspoon pepper
pounds boneless lamb shoulder
1
head garlic
½
pound carrots (2 to 3 medium) peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½-inch pieces

Add the tomato paste and the reserved spice mixture, then cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.


Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat, then add the lamb and garlic head, cut side down. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and reduce the heat to low.


Simmer for 1 hour, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle bubble.


Add the carrots and continue to simmer, partially covered, for another 30 minutes.

Step 4 of 5

Add the chickpeas

1
15½-ounce can chickpeas, drained
3
ounces baby spinach (about 3 cups)

Using tongs, remove the garlic head and squeeze over the stew to release the cloves.


Stir in the chickpeas and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.

Step 5 of 5

Season & serve

1
cup chopped cilantro, plus more to garnish
3
tablespoons lemon juice
whole-milk yogurt (optional)

Stir in the cilantro and lemon juice, then season the stew with salt and pepper.


Serve, topped with yogurt and sprinkled with cilantro.

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