No-sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

Join! 12 weeks for $1

The author and bakery owner reveals her tips for perfect biscuits, cakes and cookies.

Explore ways that vegetables can become the star of the plate

Take a cooking class with us and our instructors from around the world.

NEW - 125 simple weeknight recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

1000+ hard-to-find items from around the world.

Everything Milk Street. 12 weeks for just $1. Start your trial here.

.
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

No-sear Lamb or Beef and Chickpea Stew

Free

The mess, time and trouble required to brown meat for a stew left us longing for a better way. Did we really need that step to get big flavor? Then we discovered a world of alternatives from cultures where cooks skip the browning and instead build layers of flavor with spices and condiments. For our no-sear, no-stock stew, based on the Yemeni dish known as maraq, we started with a dry seasoning mix—paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, salt and pepper. It did double duty, with half the mixture rubbed onto the meat and the rest briefly cooked in the pot with onion, butter and tomato paste. Cooking the seasonings with the fat and tomato paste bloomed their flavors and lightly browned the tomato paste. We wanted the savory sweetness of roasted whole garlic cloves (mincing releases aggressive sulfurous compounds) but not the trouble of roasting a head separately. So, we sliced off the top of the head, then added it whole to the stew to cook alongside the meat. We liked the flavor and texture of lamb shoulder. Boneless beef chuck worked, too, but needs an extra 1 cup of water and must cook for 1½ hours before the carrots are added.

4

Servings

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.

2 hrs and 15 mins

40 mins active

1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1¼ pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch chunks
1 head garlic
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6-7 cups water
3 medium carrots, 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
  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch chunks

  • 1

    head garlic

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 6-7

    cups water

  • 3

    medium carrots, 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)

Garlic 101

Milk Street Tips

Garlic 101

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, 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Reserve half of the spice mixture, then toss the meat 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 6 cups water if using lamb or 7 cups water if using beef, then bring to a boil over high. Add the meat and the garlic head, cut side down, then return to a boil. Cover partially, reduce to low and cook for 1 hour if using lamb or 1½ hours if using beef, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Add the carrots and continue to cook, 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.
.
More

Mains

Down arrow

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
  • ¼

    teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch chunks

  • 1

    head garlic

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 1

    large yellow onion, chopped

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 6-7

    cups water

  • 3

    medium carrots, 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)

Garlic 101

Milk Street Tips

Garlic 101

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 ground cinnamon
1 ½
teaspoons salt
½
teaspoon pepper
pounds boneless lamb shoulder or boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into ¾-inch chunks
1
head garlic

In a bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, 1½ teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper.


Reserve half of the spice mixture, then toss the meat 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, chopped

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 or 7
cups water
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 6 cups water if using lamb or 7 cups water if using beef, then bring to a boil over high. Add the meat and the garlic head, cut side down, then return to a boil. Cover partially, reduce to low and cook for 1 hour if using lamb or 1½ hours if using beef, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.


Add the carrots and continue to cook, 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.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Mains
OCTOBER 2021

$189.95 VALUE

Success!

Thank you for participating in our monthly giveaway!

Entry Form
How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your giveaway entry as well as communications from Milk Street. We will not share or rent your email address. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.

Enter the Milk Street Giveaway
Enter the Milk Street Giveaway