I first had this flavorful herb and lamb stew at my in-laws house, and it is hands down my favorite Persian dish! Normally this meal is made over the stove and consists of frying the onions and herbs. This modern woman has simplified this old world classic by making it crockpot-friendly! This also got my husband's stamp of approval!
2 (largish) bunches of parsley
2 (largish) bunches of cilantro
2 bunches of green onions
1 5 oz. bag of fresh spinach (or frozen)
1 medium-to-large yellow onion
4 gloves of garlic
2 lbs lamb shank
8 oz dried red kidney beans
1 T turmeric
1 t fennel seeds
5 dried limes (or lemons or combination of)
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1 quart of chicken stock
There is a LOT of chopping involved, so I find it easier to use a food processor. Pro-tip: always process the onions last. Wash and pat dry the parsley, cilantro, and green onions. It's not entirely essential to remove all of parsley and cilantro stems since they will be finely chopped and cooked for a while, just the thicker, tougher stems. Working in small batches, process the cilantro and parsley until coarsely chopped, set aside in a bowl. Next, process the green onions. I cut off about half of the green top, but you could use the whole thing or just the white part if you prefer. Last, process the garlic and onion until finely chopped, but not liquid-y. Pour the onion and garlic directly into the crockpot, replace the lid, and turn on low.
Rinse the dried beans and add to the crockpot. Pro-tip: buy dried beans. They are A TON cheaper and none of that weird-BPA-lined canned-foods business to worry about. Next, add the spices (turmeric, fennel seed, salt and pepper). Wash and pierce the dried limes/lemons with a fork. Add those to the crockpot. I realized dried limes/lemons are a weird ingredient. If you absolutely cannot find a Middle Eastern market near you, then you can try substituting with the zest and juice of 3 limes/lemons (I have not tried this). Next, add the lamb. You can either dice the lamb beforehand or leave whole. I leave whole. After it cooks, any bones are easily removed and the meat falls apart. Finally, add the herbs and green onions. Pour the chicken stock over the top (or if it's frozen like mine, place the chicken-cube on top), replace the lid and simmer 4-6 hours.
Serve with basmati rice or eat by itself. Salt to taste and add more lemon or lime juice, if needed. Yes, it will look weird, but it TASTES AMAZING!
This recipe was adapted from New Persian Cooking
*Please excuse any typos. I wanted to quickly get something up on the blog before bed. I'll edit tomorrow ;)
**Also, the picture I took is of this weird dark green, crockpot mixture. I think I'll take a more appetizing pic tomorrow!