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Hunger Games Lamb Stew with Dried Plums

lamb stew inspired by The Hunger Games novel

  • Author: Lea Valle
  • Category: Main


  • 2 1/2 pounds boneless lamb, 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons fat for high temperature cooking (bacon fat, lard, etc.), divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 cups carrots, approximately 6, roughly diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves and more for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl add 2 tablespoons of fat, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cardamon and salt. Mix well until the mixture has turned into a paste.
  2. Add the lamb to the bowl and toss to coat well.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of fat in a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/3 of the lamb, and brown well. Remove to a plate, and repeat with remaining lamb.
  4. Add onions and carrots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes stirring to remove the browned bits of lamb from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Stir in the fresh garlic and ginger and continue cooking for another 5 minutes.
  6. Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest and chicken stock.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender.
  8. Add the quartered dried plums for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
  9. Stir in the chopped fresh cilantro.
  10. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with remaining cilantro.