Moroccan-Inspired Lamb (Heart) Stew

October 1, 2012 in Categories: by

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The recipe for this stew came out of my desire to create something really yummy out of a half dozen lamb hears that my local grass-fed beef and lamb farmer gave me.  However, you could just as easily follow the exact same recipe with lamb stew meat if either lamb heart meat is hard for you to find or intimidating.

Part of the unique Moroccan flavor of this stew comes from the use of red palm oil.  I buy ethical red/virgin palm oil from Tropical Traditions.  It’s crazy high in vitamin E and other antioxidants and has an amazing flavor that works so well with warm spices.  If you can’t find red palm oil, you could substitute extra virgin coconut oil or tallow instead.

This recipe is nightshade-free but does contain seed-based spices for those on the autoimmune protocol.

US Wellness Meats sells grass-fed lamb heart.  You’ll need about 6 hearts for this recipe.  If you want to use stew meat, you could buy chops or leg and cut into chunks yourself.  US Wellness Meats sells kabob pieces which would work very well.  GrassFed Traditions sells actual lamb stew meat, already butchered.

This stew is perfect served over a bed of cauliflower rice/couscous (so perfect, I’m including directions to make it!).  And even though it isn’t depicted in the photo, it is delightful with chopped fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.  Serves 5-6.


Ingredients (Cauliflower Couscous):

  1. Pulse cauliflower florets and stems in a Food Processor until it resembles small rice grains or large couscous grains (depending on your food processor, you might want to do this in batches).  Note that this does not work very well with frozen cauliflower.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add cauliflower.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower is cooked al dente, about 6-7 minutes.

Ingredients (Lamb Stew):

  1. Cut lamb hearts into 1-2” cubes (up to you how big or small).  The only trimming you need to do with these hearts is to remove any large vessels (and even those will be tender enough to eat at the end). Place in a bowl or re-sealable plastic bag.
  2. Grind fennel seed (and any other whole spices you might be using) in a spice grinder or Magic Bullet (you could also grind with a mortar and pestle).  Combine with cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric garlic, red palm oil and lemon juice.  Wisk to combine.
  3. Pour palm oil mixture over lamb and stir to coat.  Cover/close bag and marinate in the refrigerator 4-6 hours or overnight (up to 24 hours).
  4. Slice onions in half and then into ½” semicircles.  Slice olives if not already sliced.  Finely chop apricots.  Wash sweet potatoes (peel if desired) and slice into 1” pieces.
  5. Preheat oven to 300F.
  6. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat.  Brown lamb pieces in batches (I did 3 batches).  There should be enough oil on the lamb to brown without sticking, but if your pieces start to stick add an extra 1-2 Tbsp of palm oil (or marinade).  It should only take 3-4 minutes to brown each batch.  Remove lamb to a bowl.
  7. Add onion to the pot and cook until soft and caramelized, about 10 minutes (if you do not have enough fat in the pot left from browning the lamb, you may wish to add 1-2 Tbsp of palm oil).
  8. Place all the lamb and any leftover marinade back in the pot.  Add sweet potato, olives, apricots, broth, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, salt and pepper (if your broth is very well seasoned, you might not need any salt).
  9. Cook uncovered in the oven for 2 hours.  Enjoy!


Wonderful looking stew. Only a few days ago I discovered your blog and made the offal stew using lamb hearts. It was divine! I didn’t tell my husband it was heart beforehand and he had seconds and kept raving about it. He still wants me to make it again now that he knows what was in it and for the picky eater he is, its a huge surprise to me!

I have to say that I thought that it would cost a fortune to eat paleo full time but between plenty of ground meat recipes and kidneys & hearts, it’s not making much of a difference.

Will your kids eat organ meat too? I find myself squirming a bit in my seat. I *know* they’re good for me, but yeah… I tried making the mystery meatloaf with random organs tossed in, but had to choke it down in the, “I think this is good for me” way. Liver is about the worst for me. I made it for my youngest as a baby food and while she seemed to like it, I couldn’t get it past my nose. Did you have to overcome some food aversion in the name of good health?

Yes they do. My youngest seems to have the same love of heart meat that I do. My oldest likes liver hidden in things. Both love my meatloaf and both will eat liver or kidney in a stew. For me, it ws a question of finding which organ meats I like and which I dont(like any heart meat, like lamb kidney and liver).

Thanks for a great recipe! We raise grass fed beef, pork, chicken, and lamb on our 45 acre property just south of Fresno, Ca. This recipe is perfect for our customers who want to live a clean Paleo lifestyle but can’t necessarily afford the high cost cuts of meat. If it’s okay with you, we’d love to pass along this recipe to our customers so they can discover for themselves how delicious all parts of the animal are!

Thanks again!

Assistant Manager & Resident Pig Whisperer
Page River Bottom Farm

I’ve never had lamb heart. Is the flavor similar to beef heart, or does it taste more like lamb meat? Could I use beef heart instead? (I don’t have easy access to lamb heart)

We’re just transitioning over to Paleo at the moment, (whilst using up all of the pasta’s and things from the cupboard) and we tried this recipe the other night, including the cauliflower “rice” and my god it was a taste explosion in our mouths, we have a 9 month old who we do BLW with, and he ate most of this too, not much of a surprise, we’re yet to find a food he dislikes (we all love our food in our family) but we’re much more strict with what we allow him to eat, so we aim to only eat things ourselves that we would allow him to also eat, no more bad foods for us. With recipes like this one, it’s hard to not go Paleo, we will be working our way through your recipes, adjusting them to suit us as we go, I love cooking, and this has just made it more challenging, but so much fun, and very tasty too. Thankyou so much for your blog.

So very sad that such a young animal is sacrificed for the pleasure of human consumption. Man/womankind can be very cruel and self righteous. Sustainable or not, slaughtering such a young creature so early in its life, is beyond cruel. I really can’t understand how good people can be capable of such behavior. I will not be trying this recipe needless to say.

I think it’s crueler that people eat the “good” cuts of an animal, and waste the others, like the offal in this recipe. Much more disrespectful in my opinion. If something is losing its life for your consumption, the best way to honor it (in my opinion) is to use all of it for nourishment.

I made this last night and it was quickly eaten by my hubby, sister in law and two kiddies. It was my first foray into eating organs and I was a little nervous. Thank you for such a brilliant recipe.

Hi! I made this tonight and it was DELICIOUS! I like lamb hearts to begin with, and this was an excellent way to have them! Thank you for this recipe.

I’ve been excited to try out heart for ages and can’t wait to make this recipe! I’ve currently got 3 hearts sat in my freezer and as I’ll only be cooking for 2 people it would be great to be able to freeze or refrigerate this and reheat it another day. Have you had any luck with freezing or reheating heart? If so, how do you do it?

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