Lamb and Roasted Pepper Ragout

Metric version of recipe

Yields 8 portions

Ingredient Amount
For the lamb  
Lamb shoulder, well trimmed of fat and sinew, cut into 1 ½ to 2” cubes 4 lb.
Spanish sweet paprika 3 Tbsp.
Ground cumin 2 ½ tsp.
Bay leaf, finely crumbled 1 tsp.
Olive oil, extra virgin 2/3 cup
Dry white wine, divided use 1 1/3 cup
Lemon zest, large, finely sliced 1/3 ea.
Salt ½ tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground ½ tsp.
For the ragout  
Olive oil, extra virgin ¼ cup
Onions, chopped 4 cups
Paprika 2 ½ Tbsp.
Ground cumin 2 ½ tsp.
Garlic, finely minced 3 Tbsp.
Salt 2 tsp.
Black pepper, freshly ground 1 tsp.
Lamb or chicken stock 2 cups
Lemon zest 1 tsp.
Lemon juice, or more to taste 2 Tbsp.
Red peppers, medium roasted, cut into wide strips 8 ea.
Flat leaf parsley, chopped 8 tsp.


  1. Prepare the lamb. Place the lamb in a non-aluminum container and toss well with the paprika, cumin, bay leaf, oil, 2/3 cup of wine, and the lemon zest. Cover the container and leave to marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Transfer the lamb to a colander to drain well, and bring to room temperature. Season the lamb with the salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan and brown one-third of the meat over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn each piece to brown on all sides evenly. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a 12-quart stew pot or Dutch oven. Pour off discard all but 1 tablespoon of excess fat from the browning in 2 batches, draining off excess fat each time. Also pour off any excess bat that accumulates in the stew pot. Finally, deglaze the sauté pan with the remaining wine and add the pan juices to the stew pot. Clean the sauté pan before proceeding.
  3. Make the ragout. Heat the oil in the sauté pan and cook the onions over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until translucent and tender. Add the paprika, cumin, and garlic and cook for a few minutes longer, or until the mixture begins to stick to the pan. Season the mixture with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Stir this mixture into the stew pot with the lamb.
  4. Deglaze the sauté pan with ½ cup of the lamb or chicken stock, and add the pan juices to the lamb. Add the remaining stock, lemon zest and lemon juice to the stew pot and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce to low heat and cover the pan. Simmer gently for about an hour, or until the meat is nearly tender.
  5. Add the roasted peppers to the stew pot with 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes longer, or until the largest pieces of lamb are tender. Adjust seasoning with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper (or more or less of each to taste). If you like, add 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of lemon juice to taste. Garnish each serving of the stew with 1 teaspoon of chopped parsley.

Additional tips

The Rioja/Navarre regions are known as the “land of the peppers.” This stew is prepared in a manner called “al chilindron,” a classic sauce where sweet paprika and sweet peppers combine to form a rich sauce for meat. A similar stew is prepared in Portugal but there the sweet red peppers are ground into a paste with garlic and salt and rubbed on meat or poultry before cooking. Tomatoes may be added to a chilindron dish. Like most stews this savory dish can be made the day before and reheated. Chicken and rabbit may be prepared al chilindron.

Recipe credit: Joyce Goldstein, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Kitchen Workshop IV A on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2006.

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