Perfumed Lamb Stew with fennel, peppadew

I bet you never expected to see “perfumed” and “lamb” together. This stew is amazingly fragrant from the mixed notes of fennel and grapefruit zest. Enjoy!


Dutch oven (Le Cruset).


  • 2 lb boneless butterflied leg-of-lamb cut into large 2 inch chunks, after removing the fat layers + salt and pepper
  • Aromatics: 1 medium onion, diced + 2 pods garlic, crushed + 2 anchovy fillets + 1 medium-sized carrot, cut into thin discs
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Vegetables: 1/2 fennel, thinly sliced cross-wise + 10 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced + 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • Topping: 1 medium grape-fruit, zested and juiced + 1/8 cup pitted kalamata olives + 5-6 small pickled hot peppers (Peppadew), with 2 tbsp pickling liquid (optional: dash of Pernod)


Mix the lamb with the aromatics in a thick bottomed pot (Le Cruset). Note that you do not have to add any liquid. Cover and cook at 325 F for 1 hour. Stir and continue to cook covered for another hour. Note that the meat will be neatly browned by now.

After 2 hrs (or less, depending on your oven, size of your pot etc), deglaze with red wine and mix in the vegetable ingredients and cook uncovered for another 45 mins to 1 hr till fork tender. Remove from the oven and mix in the toppings and keep covered for 5 minutes. Serve hot with rice.


  1. I love the no-fuss browning technique. Two sources of browning here. The usual hot surface of the pot (hence don’t stir) and the second is the browning of the exposed surface from the heat in the oven when the lid is removed.
  2. I had stumbled upon the browning technique of above out of sheer minimalism or laziness for elaborate procedures (like coating with flour, browning individually etc).
  3. If your pot has a larger surface area, you may lose the juices faster than if all is crammed into smaller space. So, make your adjustments accordingly and adding a little water if required.
  4. Adapted from the French, à la Gardiane.

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