By Alia Al-Chalabi

As we all sit inside in a state of quarantine, I can’t help but think about all the foods we can prepare using long-lasting ingredients. 

If you’re one of the thousands of people stocking up on grocery items, this lamb stew with okra recipe includes a variety of ingredients you can keep for a while. It can also be made as a vegetarian meal and it tastes just as good. 

I always eat this dish at home during cold winter days, and in times like this, comfort food is all we need. Try this recipe while taking your classes online!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of lamb shank
  • 1 pack of okra 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 ½ jars of tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 cup of rice

Utensils:

  • 2 large pots
  • 1 dishrag

Assembly: 

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. In the same pot, fry the shallots, making sure they reach a crunchy texture. Then add the garlic, cooking until it’s soft, but be careful not to burn it in the process.

Once the garlic is soft, add in one cup of water and tomato sauce. Let the mixture simmer for a few minutes, then add in the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cumin. Let it simmer again. 

Next, add the lamb shank. Cover the pot and let the lamb cook for about two hours.  

One piece of lamb with the bone-in is perfect for this recipe because the bone marrow renders really nicely (if you’re into eating that). 

After the lamb has stewed for about an hour and a half, begin preparing the rice in the second pot. First, combine one cup of rice with one and a half cups of cold water, along with one teaspoon of salt. Then, to increase the humidity inside the pot, cover the pot with a dishrag. 

Bring the rice to a simmer on medium-low heat, then bring the heat to low for about 15 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, move onto the okra. If you remove its stem, the okra will get slimy. Try to avoid that at all costs while removing the prickly parts with a knife.

Once the rice is done cooking, combine the stem-on okra with the pot containing the lamb. Let the okra cook in the pot for about 20 minutes, then turn off the stove and let it rest for 10 more. 

Finally, plate the lamb on top of the rice. Enjoy!

Vegetarian option: 

Follow all of these steps, but omit any step involving the lamb. Making this dish with just the okra is still delicious and will only take about 20 minutes total.