Shirley MacLaine’s Gourmet Lamb Stew

Juicy cubes of lamb are slow cooked with pearl onions, carrots, and turnips to make this savory winter stew.

Lamb Stew

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After 30 years in celebrity journalism, Jay Christian’s new cookbook, Jay Christian’s Hollywood Celebrity Recipes, is a compilation of recipes for appetizers, soups and salads, main dishes, and desserts from his favorite celebrity friends. Below, the savory recipe we tried from Christian’s cookbook, submitted by actress Shirley MacLaine.

Shirley MacLaine’s Gourmet Lamb Stew

Shirley MacLaine's Gourmet Lamb Stew

(Makes 6 to 8 servings)


  • 1 leg of lamb, weighing 5 to 6 pounds
  • 1 tablespoon lard or shortening
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼ teaspoon bouquet garni
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 sugar cubes
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon beef extract
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled
  • 6 pearl onions, peeled
  • 2 small yellow turnips, peeled
  • 2 small carrots, scraped
  • 3 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • French bread


  1. Have the butcher prepare lamb as follows: Remove fell and bone, trim off excess fat, cut lamb into 1 ½ inch cubes.
  2. Heat lard or shortening in large skillet until sizzling; add lamb, brown on all sides until golden, stirring.
  3. Sprinkle flour over meat, cook a few minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Add garlic, cook over very low heat until garlic begins to smell.
  5. Add water (enough to barely cover meat), tomato paste, bouquet garni, beef extract, and salt and pepper.
  6. Cover, simmer about 15 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, put sugar lumps and 1 tablespoon water in small saucepan; heat over low heat until sugar caramelizes.
  8. Add to meat, stir to blend well.
  9. Cover; simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  10. Prepare vegetables as follows: Chop yellow onions. Leave pearl onions whole, chop turnips into large dice and chop carrots.
  11. Heat butter in large skillet until hot; add vegetables, sprinkling with 1 teaspoon sugar.
  12. Cook over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  13. Add vegetables to lamb; cover and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables and meat are fork-tender, stirring often.
  14. Remove vegetables and meat to heated platter.
  15. Skim off surface fat before pouring sauce over the meat.
  16. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  17. Serve with crusty French bread and a tossed, crisp green salad.

Reprinted from Jay Christian’s Hollywood Celebrity Recipes © 2011. All rights reserved. Available on and

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