Slow-Cooked Lamb with Potatoes

Stella Cohen
Recipe by
Stella Cohen

An easy one-pan lamb and potato dish, which is perfect as a family meal on a chilly night. The lamb is gently simmered on the stovetop then briefly browned in the oven. Traditionally, this flavoursome dish is served for the Passover dinner, paired with a green salad or stewed green beans.

3¼ pounds (1.5kg ) shoulder of lamb, cut through the bone into even chunks
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 fresh bay leaves
2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-4 cups hot chicken stock
2¼ pounds (1kg) waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered lengthways
3 tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, use leaves and tender stems

Equipment: An enamelled cast-iron, shallow oven-to-table casserole

  • Trim excess fat from the lamb.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in the casserole over a medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook in batches on all sides until lightly browned. Remove the lamb with tongs and keep in a heatproof dish.
  • Add the onions to the casserole and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.  Return the browned meat to the pan. Add the bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Pour enough hot stock to just cover the lamb. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 3-4 hours or until the meat is tender, adding more stock as necessary. Skim the fat off the cooking juices in the pan.
  • Meanwhile boil the potatoes until just tender and drain.
  • Scatter the potatoes over the lamb and sprinkle with half the parsley. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat the oven to grill/broil 15 minutes before serving. Place under the grill for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown. Serve at once with the remaining parsley sprinkled on top.

Stella's Hints

  • Ask your butcher to cut the shoulder into roughly 2 - 2 ½-inch chunks.
  • Lamb chops can be used instead of shoulder, which will save cooking time.

Reprinted with permission from Stella’s Sephardic Table: Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes © 2012 by Stella Cohen, The Gerald & Marc Hoberman Collection. Photography by Marc Hoberman.

Sephardic cuisine expert, artist, textile designer, and cookery writer, Stella Cohen is a passionate ambassador for the Jewish community, dedicating her life to the celebration, preservation, and education of Sephardic values and traditions. Stella’s heart lies in Southern Africa as well as in the Mediterranean, as she was born and raised in Zimbabwe and has a family tree entrenched in Sephardic history. Her parents originate from Rhodes, Greece, and Marmaris, Turkey and she is the great-granddaughter of Yaacov Capouya, the Rabbi of Rhodes.