Lamb and Roasted Pepper Ragout (Metric)

Customary 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 1.81 kg.
Spanish sweet paprika 45 ml.
Ground cumin 12.5 ml.
Bay leaf, finely crumbled 5 ml.
Olive oil, extra virgin 160 ml.
Dry white wine, divided use 320 ml.
Lemon zest, large, finely sliced 1/3 ea.
Salt 2.5 ml.
Black pepper, freshly ground 2.5 ml.
For the ragout  
Olive oil, extra virgin 60 ml.
Onions, chopped 960 ml.
Paprika 37.5 ml.
Ground cumin 37.5 ml.
Garlic, finely minced 45 ml.
Salt 10 ml.
Black pepper, freshly ground 5 ml.
Lamb or chicken stock 480 ml.
Lemon zest 5 ml.
Lemon juice, or more to taste 30 ml.
Red peppers, medium roasted, cut into wide strips 8 ea.
Flat leaf parsley, chopped 40 ml.


  1. Prepare the lamb. Place the lamb in a non-aluminum container and toss well with the paprika, cumin, bay leaf, oil, 160 ml. 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 15 ml. 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-liter stew pot or Dutch oven. Pour off discard all but 15 ml. 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 2.5 ml. of salt and 2.5 ml. of pepper. Stir this mixture into the stew pot with the lamb.
  4. Deglaze the sauté pan with 120 ml. 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 5 ml. 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 2.5 ml. of salt and 2.5 ml. of pepper (or more or less of each to taste). If you like, add 30 ml. to 60 ml. of lemon juice to taste. Garnish each serving of the stew with 5 ml. 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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