14 ratings

Shirley MacLaine's Gourmet Lamb Stew


"Take some time out to make something special for family and friends with this delectable recipe."


— Jay Christian, author of Hollywood Celebrity Recipes


* A bouquet garni is a bundle of herbs tied together with a string. While recipes for it vary, a bundle is traditionally made up of thyme, bay leaves, and sage and tied together with a string. 


  • One 5 to 6-pound leg of lamb
  • 1 Tablespoon lard or shortening
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 Cups plus 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 Teaspoon bouquet garni*
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 sugar cubes
  • 1 Teaspoon beef extract
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 small yellow turnips, chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • French bread, for serving


Have a butcher prepare lamb as follows: Remove fell and bone, trim off excess fat, cut lamb into 1 ½-inch cubes.

Heat the lard or shortening in large skillet until sizzling and add the lamb. Brown the leg of lamb on all sides until golden brown, stirring while you do. Sprinkle the flour over the meat and cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook over very low heat until the garlic begins to smell. Add the water, enough to barely cover meat, tomato paste, bouquet garni, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the sugar lumps and 1 tablespoon of water in small saucepan; heat over low heat until the sugar caramelizes. Add to the meat and stir to blend well. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Heat the butter in a large skillet until hot and add the vegetables, sprinkling them with 1 teaspoon sugar. Cook over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Add the vegetables to lamb, cover, and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables and meat are fork-tender, stirring often. Remove the vegetables and meat to a heated platter. Skim off the surface of fat before pouring the sauce over the meat. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with crusty French bread and a tossed, crisp green salad.