Greek Lamb Stew

GreekStew7SmallThis is one of those real stews. It needs to simmer for two to three hours. This makes this is a great weekend dish or a meal to prepare in advance. It will however blow your mind.

The stew combines so many complex flavors, the lamb and various spices. It is however still balanced. Your lamb should be falling apart. The sauce is sweet, yet sour and ever so warming thanks to that cinnamon. Against that very hearty stew, it is nice to have that tangy yoghurt sauce. The potato chips are the perfect vessel for all this sauce. If you also serve the salad you get some crunch and fresh veg for a complete meal.


Greek Lamb Stew ( 4 portions)

  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Spice mix:
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp thyme
    • 1 tsp fennel seeds
    • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 400 gr lamb shoulder, cut in chunks
  • Meat coating:
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • Salt and pepper
    • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 glass of red port or wine
  • 1 tbsp of dried oregano
  • 400 gr of (tinned) diced tomatoes
  • 200 ml of chicken stock


  1. After cutting all your ingredients, mix your meat with the coating ingredients.
  2. Brown the lamb chunks in two or three batches and set aside.
  3. In the same pan cook the onion and garlic until soft.
  4. Add the spice mix and bay leaves until they give of their lovely aroma.
  5. Add the meat and the port. Let this cook while stirring for a few minutes.
  6. Add the diced tomatoes, oregano and stock and let this mix simmer for up to 3 hours or until your meat is soft. Keep stirring if needed.
  7. The flour should have thickened your sauce. If needed, mix 2 tbsp of corn starch with water and stir this mixture through your simmering stew right at the end.

This stew can be made well in advance and reheated on a low heat. Serve this stew with some fresh oven chips, tzaziki and a simple Lemon & Nigella Seed salad.


My mighty Moussaka

One of my favorite restaurants to visit is a Greek restaurant. I love the Mediterranean spices, and the hint of the orient. It is one of the few types of restaurant where I can choose tasty freshly grilled meats as well as seafood, or a jummy slow cooked lamb stew. I am also partial to their yummy yoghurt sauce, tzatziki!

I have always loved Greece’s answer to the lasagna: the moussaka! Recently it occurred to me that I could easily turn this recipe into a vegetarian dish. My meat loving husband was nearly finished with his dinner when he realized there was no meat in his food. He had enjoyed the texture and flavor too much to notice what was missing.

On the practical side of things, this recipe has plenty of upsides too. I made the actual dish a day in advance. The next day I baked the moussaka, which made for a nice fuss free evening for me and my toddler. This dish will definitely be on a family favorite list for a while.



  • Sauce:
    • 1 tin of depuy lentils ( 310 gram )
    • 1 tin of diced tomatoes ( 400 gram )
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 2 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 1 tsp mint
    • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 large union, diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
    • 1 glass of white wine
    • Half cube of vegetable stock
  • 1 aubergine in slices
  • 3 medium large potatoes
  • Topping (you substitute this with bechamel sauce, this is my lazy cheat version):
    • 2 tbsp cream cheese
    • 1 tub of cottage cheese ( 200 gram )
  • 150 gram of grated cheese

You will need an ovenproof dish, I used one of  27 by 18 cm.

  1. Before you do anything else. Boil your potatoes until they are soft.
  2. Prepare the sauce;
    • Fry your union in some olive oil until soft.
    • Stir in the garlic, paprika, cumin and thyme. Add the wine and let it simmer for a few minutes.
    • Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients.
    • Bring the sauce to a light simmer. Leave it to simmer for about an hour.
  3. While the sauce is simmering, prepare your other ingredients;
    • Slice the aubergine length ways. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Fry the slices in a griddle pan on each side.
    • Let your potatoes cool, then slice them.
    • Wilt the spinach down in some oil in a really hot pan. Let the spinach cool and slice it roughly. The spinach needs to cool in a collinder now. Drain as much of moisture out as you possibly can.
    • Mix your topping ingredients.
  4. When all your components are ready, you can layer your moussaka in an oven proof dish:
    • One layer of sauce
    • One layer of spinach
    • One layer of potatoe slices, don’t forget to season these.
    • One layer of sauce
    • One layer of aubergine
    • Spread out your topping
    • Sprinkle with the grated cheese
    • Season with some freshly ground pepper
  5. (You can keep the dish overnight before this step) Bake the moussaka in a 220 degree C oven for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden.
  6. Let your moussaka stand for 5 minutes before serving.


My husband loves a good barbeque. But before the meat is ready we like knibble on something. For us, that’s crispy bread and taziki. This yoghurt dip ticks all the boxes for me, both the garlic flavour and the smooth and rich, creamy texture. Normally such a delicious sauce is based on so many fats, like your mayo based  sauce. But a taziki is yoghurt based and by comparison much healthier. This is why I must insist you use full fat greek yoghurt for this, non of that crazy diet stuff. Plus, full fat yoghurt contains more nutrients as well.

Feel free to replace my 2 favorite soft herbs with other options such as chives, dill or parsley.

I know this is hard, but try to let this sauce stand in the fridge for an hour, so the flavours are properly combined.

Just enjoy this sauce with crunchy bread, pita’s, falafel, naan’s, roast meat or with potato chips!



  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • full fat greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 handful of fresh mint
  • 1 handful of fresh koriander
  • 2 cloves of garlic

Grate your cucumber with a course grater. Now we will drain the water out of the cucumber to intensify the flavour. So bear with me and add all the salt to the cucumber. Mix this well in a bowl and leave to stand on one side while you continue with the other ingredients.

Finely chop the mint and coriander. Grate the garlic cloves.

In a large bowl add the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, chopped herbs and garlic. Season with a small amount of salt and pepper.

After 10-30 minutes of steeping rinse your grated cucumber in a collinder. This should clean away all that salt. The cucumber needs to be as dry as possible. I do this by first pushing as much water as possible through the collinder. After this I squeeze the grated cucumber between my hands. Add the dry handfuls of cucumber to the yogurt mix.

Stir your tzaziki thoroughly. Let it stand in the fridge for an hour (or overnight), and salt to taste before serving. This sauce will keep for a couple of days if stored in the fridge, that is, if there is anything left!


Tzaziki is also great with some oven chips, or as a side dish with a Greek lamb stew.