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While artichokes are the classic choice for this dill-scented stew, you could replace them with celery, fennel or carrots. The last-minute avgolemono thickening of egg and lemon is an added flourish that truly pulls the dish together. The stew can be prepared a day or two ahead; add the avgolemono during reheating.
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 onions, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups water or chicken stock, or as needed
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 6 medium-sized artichokes
- 2 pounds assorted greens such as romaine, dandelion greens or Swiss chard, stemmed, well rinsed, drained and torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Working in batches, add the lamb and brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the browned lamb to a large, heavy pot.
Add more olive oil if needed to the sauté pan and add the onions. Sauté over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes longer. Transfer the contents of the sauté pan to the pot containing the lamb. Raise the heat to high, pour 1/2 cup of water or stock into the sauté pan, and deglaze the pan by stirring to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom. Add the pan juices to the lamb.
Add the remaining 1 cup water or stock to the pot, or as needed to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a large bowl 3/4 full with water and add 1/4 cup of the lemon juice. Snap off the tough outer leaves from the artichokes. Using a paring knife, trim the dark green parts from the base and stem. Cut the artichokes lengthwise into quarters, then scoop out and discard the prickly chokes. As they are cut, drop the artichokes into the bowl of lemon water to prevent discoloring until needed.
If using the greens, fill a large saucepan 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste. Add the greens. Boil until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain well.
When the lamb has simmered for 45 minutes, drain the artichokes and add them to the pot along with the greens. Continue to simmer until the lamb and artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes longer.
Add the dill and season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes. At the last minute, in a bowl, beat the eggs until very frothy. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice.
Gradually beat in about 1 cup of the hot lamb juices, beating constantly to prevent curdling. Slowly stir the egg mixture into the hot stew. Heat through, but do not allow the stew to boil.
Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve hot.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
668 calories; 28g total fat; 288mg cholesterol; 432mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 16g fiber; 71g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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