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Slow-Cooker Lamb Stew Agrodolce

Slow-Cooker Lamb Stew Agrodolce 2.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Cooking for One Apr 7, 2010

Beth Hensperger calls for cubed lamb shoulder or leg of lamb for this simple sweet-and-sour recipe, but bone-in shoulder-cut lamb chops also work well. (Remove the bones and shred the meat before serving.) Cook this in a 2-to-3-quart slow cooker, or double the recipe to cook it in a larger slow cooker.

Serve over rigatoni or wide noodles, such as pappardelle.

Make Ahead: For best results, refrigerate the cooking liquid for at least 1 hour in order to de-fat it easily, then return the lamb to the cooking liquid to warm through over low heat before serving. The flavor of the dish deepens with a day or two of refrigeration.

Servings: 2
  • 1 pound lamb shoulder or leg of lamb, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces (may substitute bone-in, shoulder-cut lamb chops; see headnote)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish (optional)


Have a 2-to-3-quart slow cooker at hand.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the lamb and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, just to brown it on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to the bowl of the slow cooker, along with the water.

Whisk together the vinegar, tomato paste and sugar in a small bowl, then add to the lamb and stir to incorporate. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 9 hours, or until the lamb is fork-tender.

If you can, it's best to de-fat the dish by removing the lamb with a slotted spoon, then refrigerate the cooking liquid for at least 1 hour or until the fat congeals on top. Scrape off and discard the fat; reheat the lamb over low heat, until warmed through or longer to reduce and thicken the sauce.

Serve warm, with parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes For Two" (Harvard Common Press, 2007).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 400

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 19g 29%

Saturated Fat: 5g 25%

Cholesterol: 145mg 48%

Sodium: 370mg 15%

Total Carbohydrates: 9g 3%

Dietary Fiber: 2g 8%

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 47g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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