Buttonwood Farm Winery's Excellent Lamb & Bean Stew

This "Excellent Lamb Stew & Bean Stew" is excellent for a family dinner or party. The meat is so tender, it falls off the bone, and the broth is rich with layers of flavor. Serve with Syrah and hot bread for a hearty meal.

Servings: 8 or more

Pair With: Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard Syrah.

Source: Recipe courtesy Seyburn Zorthian of Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard; photo by Tama Takahashi


6 tablespoons olive oil, in three parts
4 lamb shoulder chops
1 mature onion, coarsely chopped
1 bunch cilantro or parsley, finely chopped (stems OK)
1/3 - 1/2 bottle good red wine
1 - 2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups dried great white beans (cleaned)
4 medium carrots and tops, coarsely chopped, in two parts
1 cup coarsely chopped celery leaves and celery stalks
1 turnip, coarsely chopped
2 small or 1 large fennel bulb, coarsely chopped (just the white part)
1/2 - 1 cup portabello or other mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1 head garlic, peeled and chopped fine (about 1/3 cup)
1 - 2 tablespoon. dried oregano or 1/2 cup fresh leaves
1 - 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
Salt and pepper, optional


Brown the lamb in 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy pot. Remove lamb, then sauté the chopped onion and cilantro (or parsley) in another 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour in half of the wine and let it simmer on low for a few minutes. Then add chicken broth, beans, lamb, half the carrots and carrot tops, celery leaves and stalks, and the turnip.
Cover and let simmer gently. After 2 hours test the beans for tenderness. Continue to simmer if necessary. When the beans are fully cooked, add the rest of the carrots.

In a separate pan, sauté the fennel and mushrooms in 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add chopped garlic.
After 2 or 3 minutes, pour in remaining red wine and simmer briefly; add sautéed vegetables to the stew. Toss in the oregano and cumin seed then continue to simmer for 5-10 mins. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.


Chef's Notes:

Editor's Note: I made the recipe scaling it down to 3/4 of the size: with 3 shoulder chops instead of 4; all the olive oil, 3/4 cup each of onion, celery, turnip, mushrooms; 1 fennel bulb; 3/4 bunch of cilantro; 1 1/2 cups of dried beans, 1/3 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon; 1 quart chicken broth; 3 carrots; 3/4 head garlic, 1/3 cup fresh oregano leaves and 1 teaspoon cumin. It made around 6 generous servings which were happily enjoyed by the family.

Recipe Courtesy Of

Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard

Long before grapevines were planted on the hilltop at Buttonwood Farm Winery & Vineyard, it was home to horses, goats, and chickens; trees bearing fruit, nuts, and olives; and gardens filled with vegetables, herbs, and flowers.