Authentically Exotic: Lebanese Lamb and Okra Stew

Authentically Exotic: Lebanese Lamb and Okra Stew

Image Courtesy of Dan Atkinson

Stew recipes are suited for all VitaClay models! When cooking in the Stock pot models (VM7800) for more than an hour, please monitor liquid levels to avoid excess evaporation and dry cooking, which may damage the pot. 

Okra is a vegetable that many people haven't tried. It has an interesting texture: when cooked it's a bit slick (almost slimy) but has a good flavor and texture. 

Okra was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, spreading to the Middle East and later the rest of the world. Today okra is popular in the Middle East, Greece and Turkey, as well as in the American South. Look for young, tender but firm pods.

They should snap easily in half. The best varieties are a rich green color. Wash when ready to use, when cutting it will become slimy and becomes an excellent sauce thickener.

When put into a stew, okra thickens the soup and adds amazing flavor. Try this delicious lamb and okra stew, or substitute the meat for chicken or beef as you prefer. It's even great as  a vegetarian stew!

Ingredients for Lebanese Lamb and Okra Stew

  • 2 lb lamb, cubed
  • 6-8 cups broth (make it!)
  • 1 pound whole fresh okra
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 4 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of butter or coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Chopped parsley for garnish
 Directions for Lebanese Lamb and Okra Stew
    1. In large skillet, lightly brown the meat and onion in the butter. Cut off the stems of okra and add them to the pot, fry gently for a few minutes.
    2. Transfer meat, onions and okra to VitaClayTM pot, mix in the tomatoes and potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Add tomato paste, then stir in water or broth.
    3. Cover and Set on Slow Cooking-Stew to cook for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.
    4. In a separate pan, crush the minced garlic with a little salt and fry it in a tablespoon of butter or oil with the coriander untilthe garlic begins to smell sweet. Be careful not to burn thegarlic as it may become bitter.
    5. When ready to serve, stir the garlic mixture and thelemon juice into the stew andladle into bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with pita breads.

    Makes 4 to 6 servings.

    Health Note:

    Okra is a good source of vitamin C and A, also B complex vitamins, iron and calcium. It is low in calories, a good source of dietary fiber, and is fat-free. Okra is often available fresh year-round in the Southern United States, and from May to October in many other areas.

    Lamb is low in Sodium. It is also a good source of Riboflavin, Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus and Selenium.

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