Garlicky Turkish Lamb Shank Stew

Garlicky Turkish Lamb Shank Stew bubbling on the stovetop

Stewing in Comfort
This is the time of year when I have visions of something savory bubbling on the stove or slow cooking in the crockpot ready to warm me up when I walk through the door at the end of the day. I am particularly partial to anything that makes use of dried beans, some variety of meat shank, and has a rich gravy-like broth. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The shank possibilities are endless, from beef to ham. All of them are tasty. Although, if I am thinking beans and shanks, I generally choose lamb shanks. This recipe for Lamb Shanks Osso Bucco is a definite favorite of mine, and I make it regularly.

However, when on a search for something a little different, I came across this recipe for Garlicky Turkish Lamb Shank Stew. I was intrigued by the addition of pepperoncini which should add some nice acid and flavor to what can normally be a rather rich dish. Not to mention the Aleppo pepper for some zip…

Not only does this recipe fall into the weekend project category, but this recipe also makes quite a lot. So, feel free to half it or freeze some for an easy home-cooked meal another night.

If you cannot find Aleppo pepper, you can substitute a blend of two parts sweet paprika with one part cayenne…

Garlicky Turkish Lamb Shank Stew with White Beans
Adapted from Real Stew by Clifford A. Wright
Yields 8 to 10 servings

1/2 cup butter
5 pounds lamb shanks
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
8 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 quart water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups (about 3 pounds) fresh Roma tomatoes
4 cups dried white beans
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 long pepperoncinis
1/4 fresh parsley leaves

Do ahead
Pick through the dried white beans, rinse them, and cover them with cold water to soak overnight. When ready to make the stew, give the beans a rinse and drain them.

Prep your ingredients
Chop the onion and finely chop the garlic. Peel*, seed, and chop the tomatoes. Seed the pepperoncinis and cut them into rings. Finely chop the parsley.

*To peel the tomatoes. Cut a shallow x in the bottoms and quickly blanch them in boiling water. The peels will come off easily.

Brown the lamb
In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter stops sizzling, brown the lamb on all sides (about 8 minutes).

Add the aromatics
Add the onions and garlic and cook while stirring (about 4 minutes).

Add the water
Add the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer at a gentle boil for 1-1/2 hours, skimming the surface of foam if necessary.

Stew the vegetables
Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, beans, and red pepper. Season with salt and black pepper, cover, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer until the meat falls off the bone and the beans melt in your mouth (about 4-1/2 to 5 hours). The liquid in the casserole should be bubbling only slightly, if at all.

Add the pepperoncini
An hour before the stew is finished (3-1/2 to 4 hours into stewing), add the pepperoncini, cover, and continue to cook.

To serve
Serve with a sprinkling of fresh parsley.





Comments are closed.