Saturday, December 31, 2011

CWR'S Trinidad-Style Stewed Lamb

Lamb is definitely a huge favorite of mine. In this recipe, bite sized pieces of lamb are browned using "burnt sugar" and simmered in carrots, potatoes, tomato and fresh herbs including scallion, thyme, parsley and celery. The result is a rich and hearty dish with moist, tender pieces of lamb.

Stewing of meat using "burnt sugar" is believed to be a West African cooking style brought to the Caribbean by the African immigrants. This technique continues to be used throughout the Caribbean islands and adds both color and an extraordinary depth of flavor to the dish. Stews have evolved over time and now includes ingredients such as ketchup, seasoning salts, bouillon cubes, soy sauce, margarine etc.

In my recipe, I am keeping the caramelized sugar base to honor the tradition, but I’m replacing the flavor enhancers with lots of fresh herbs and vegetables to create a flavorful, savory dish that is healthier. The way the dish was probably originally made, as our ancestors did not have access to processed ingredients. 

This stewed lamb is proof that you can eat absolutely delicious “clean food” without all the “extra stuff”…Please try it and let me know.

CWR’s Trinidad-Style Stewed Lamb
Serves 6-8

5 pounds bone-in lamb stew meat or boneless lamb, cut into 2 inch pieces
3 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 large potatoes, peeled, sliced lengthwise and quartered
1 large carrot, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 cups hot water

Green Seasoning:
4-5 scallions (spring onions)—1 bunch or 1 cup when chopped
4 sprigs parsley (about ½ cup chopped)
5 large cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme (or about 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves)

1. Prep Work--Wash lamb with the juice of a lemon, rinse, drain or pat dry with paper towels.
Peel, wash and cut potatoes, carrot and onion. Chop herbs.

2. Make Green Seasoning: In a food processor, finely mince scallion, parsley, thyme and garlic.
Should produce ½ cup tightly packed. 
3. Season lamb with salt and pepper and Green Seasoning. 

5. In a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, add 3 ½ tablespoons brown sugar and caramelize. 
6. Once the sugar bubbles, froths and darkens evenly, add meat(reserve marinating liquid if any), raise heat to high and turn frequently to coat. Cook 3-5 minutes. 
7. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, onion and tomato.
Continue to cook the meat in it’s own juices(uncovered), stirring every 5 minutes, for about 15-20 minutes.  When the meat begins to stick to the pot, stir fry for a minute more to allow the flavors to develop, stirring constantly, scraping bits from the bottom and sides of the pot.

8. Add 4 cups hot water and reserved liquid if any (liquid should barely cover meat).
Mix well, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low and cook until lamb is tender, approximately 1 hour. 

Adjust seasonings and garnish with fresh parsley.
Serve hot over rice, flour/corn dumplings or boiled ground provisions.


Thank you for stopping by,
Cooking with love & lamb...and a GREAT LOVE for lamb,


  1. Hey Ria, I came across your blog recently! I'm a Trini also!! I live outside of Toronto, CA. Oh god girl, you have my mouth watering with this picture of Stew Lamb!! One of my favs.

    Check out my lil blog sometime :)


  2. Cooked this for Sunday lunch and it came out great thanks to your recipe.
    Only thing is since the lamb takes so long to cook without a pressure cooker I should not hv put in the potatoes at the time u stated as some disintegrated in the sauce. Lol..
    But nonetheless it came out well.. Thanks :)


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