Lamb neck stew in toum (garlic) sauce with fresh peas Photo: Boaz Lavie Styling: Anat Lavel
Lamb neck stew in toum (garlic) sauce with fresh peas Photo: Boaz Lavie Styling: Anat Lavel
Recipe

Lamb Neck Stew with Toum (Garlic) Sauce and Fresh Peas

Oz Telem creates a special spring holiday meal, this time a delicious Iraqi lamb neck stew in toum (garlic) sauce with fresh peas

Lamb neck stew with toum (garlic) sauce and fresh peas from Oz Telem is an excellent Iraqi dish for any holiday. Many people know about kubbeh in beet sauce, okra and pumpkin, toum (garlic) sauce has not received such extensive coverage. This is a sauce that I learned to make from my grandmother, Hannah, from whom I draw a great deal of inspiration and extensive knowledge. She makes this special sauce, in which she cooks her wonderful kubbeh, only in the spring with fresh Israeli garlic – the garlic with the big cloves and special sweetness. Add fresh mint to the garlic, and this duo, accompanied by lemon and sugar (sweet-sour balance is the basis of Iraqi cuisine) produces an insane amount of flavor.

To make this stew, I used lamb neck instead of kubbeh. This is one of my favorite cuts – it comes bone-in, which results in layers of flavor, the meat gets a soft and delicate texture during the slow cooking, and it is cheaper than ossobuco. In the last minutes of cooking, I add fresh peas that give the dish a fresh and fun texture.

Ingredients for Lamb Neck Stew

  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-5 slices (2.2 lbs/1 kilo) lamb neck
  • 1 onion medium, thinly sliced
  • 4 heads of garlic cloves peeled
  • 1 bunch mint large
  • lemon juice from one lemon
  • coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 10.6 oz (300 grams) peas fresh

Instructions

  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a wide pot. Sear the lamb neck slices for 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove and set aside on a plate.

  • 2. Add 3 cups of water, onion, garlic cloves and most of the mint leaves to the pot. Bring to a boil, scraping up the frond on the bottom of the pot. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season with salt and sugar.

  • 3. Return the lamb (and any juices on the plate) to the pot, bring to a boil, cover the pot (or seal with aluminum foil) and transfer to an oven preheated to 335F (170C) degrees for two and a half hours or until the lamb is tender.

  • 4. Before serving, return the the stew to a boil, add the peas and cook for 2-3 minutes, just until their color becomes a bright green. Taste, adjust seasoning as needed and serve with fresh mint leaves.

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Serve with rice

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