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Fragrant Yam & Lamb Stew

February 3, 2011

It’s a rare treat when you get a savory recipe from me! And it was a rare treat to have my mom hand me a package of grass-fed lamb stew meat when I dropped by her house the other night. I eat very little red meat now that I’ve decided to only eat grass-fed beef (if you read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, you’ll understand why), so I had to make something truly scrumptious from this precious bundle of juicy meat.

Sometimes the best meals are created simply by using what you have on hand in the refrigerator and pantry. A few orange-fleshed yams, one lone bell pepper, a nub of fresh ginger, a handful of dried apricots– not to mention a perfect medley of spices– all combined into a fragrant, slightly sweet and spicy bowl of comfort.

Lamb is so delicious, and if you think it’s too gamey, perhaps you just haven’t had good lamb. The truth is, if it’s raised well, there is no need for it to have such a pungent flavor. I encourage you to give it another try, but if you really are opposed to lamb, you could certainly make this with beef (but please stick with grass-fed!).

Fragrant Yam & Lamb Stew

© Copyright 2011 Carly Sullivan, Tart to Heart

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb grass-fed lamb stew meat
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger root, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (or substitute with cayenne pepper)
  • 1 16-oz can tomato sauce
  • 4 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 1/2 lbs yams/orange sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and add to the pot in an even layer. Let brown, without stirring, on the first side, then turn to brown the other side. Remove the meat to a plate and set side.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion to the pot. Sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic and ginger, sprinkle with a little more salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Add all the spices and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Return the meat to the pot. Add the sweet potatoes, tomato sauce, stock and apricots. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until the lamb is tender, 45-60 minutes (the longer the better!). Since grass-fed meat is leaner, it takes a bit longer to tenderize, so just be patient!

Yum yum! The perfect bowl of stew to warm you up, body and soul! Enjoy!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2011 9:14 am

    I want some! Did you use chicken or beef stock. You should recommend organic, low sodium (ie no MSG) stock. Your photos are charming 🙂

    • February 3, 2011 10:26 am

      I used chicken stock and it was fantastic! Organic, of course 🙂 Definitely no MSG and try to get low sodium. Always wait to salt the liquid until after your stew has cooked for awhile, because the flavors will concentrate.

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