Fesenjan (Persian Lamb Stew)

Recipe: Fesenjan (Persian Lamb Stew)

Serves 6–8

Fesenjan, a traditional Iranian stew, is rich, hearty and special occasion-worthy. Pomegranates lend a touch of sweetness while ground walnuts add richness and texture to the sauce. Our version simmers lamb with vegetables and warming spices in a Dutch oven until tender and fragrant, and finishes with a garnish of pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 2 pounds boneless leg of lamb or lamb shoulder, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 small red onions, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cups 365 Everyday Value Organic Chicken Stock
  • 1 thin-skinned winter squash (like delicata or acorn), seeded, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
  • 1 cup pomegranate molasses, plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint
  • Steamed basmati rice, for serving

Method: 

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add walnuts and toast until golden. Remove nuts to cool, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse powder.

Pat lamb dry and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Heat ghee over high heat and sauté lamb until brown; set aside.

Add onions to pot and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and remaining salt and pepper. Add broth, scraping up any browned bits, then return lamb to the pot with squash, ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, saffron and sugar. Stir to combine.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until lamb is tender (about 1 hour). Remove lid, stir and adjust seasoning.

Top with pomegranate seeds, cilantro and mint. Serve with basmati rice.

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