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1)Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pot. Brown the lamb cubes and onions.
2)Add the turmeric, freshly ground black pepper and salt. Pour over the beef stock and lemon juice. Add the celery and spring onions. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 2 hours.
3)Add the olives, peas, spinach and fresh dill. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
4)Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Serve hot with rice or cous cous with slices of lemon and sprigs of fresh dill.
cook: Main course
Lamb Stew with Dill and Olives
This recipe is Sephardi; the flavours of turmeric and lemon amongst its ingredients reflect its Syrian origin. Cheaper cuts of lamb were used and by adding the peas and olives small amounts of meat went along way. Economic needs and large numbers of mouths to feed made stews like this very popular. They were often enjoyed with pita bread to mop up the tasty juices. The slow gentle cooking transforms the meat into succulent tender pieces and the visual impact of the yellow and green ingredients make it most impressive.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Serves: 6 people
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 kg/ 2 1/4 lb shoulder of lamb – cubed
2 onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper – to taste
500 ml beef stock
Juice of 2 lemons
225g spinach – roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery – finely chopped
8 spring onions – finely chopped
300g green olives – pitted and rinsed
300g frozen or fresh peas
2 tablespoons fresh dill – finely chopped
Garnish: 1 lemon – sliced, Sprigs of fresh dill