Lemony Artichoke Stew

Artichokes are on the top of my all-time favorite vegetables and I honestly think I am not cooking / eating enough of it.
This Lemony Artichoke Stew is a traditional Lebanese comfort food preparation. The kids love it and ask for it very often. We just adore the hearty texture and flavors of this dish. The artichoke bottoms are cooked in a rich and silky lamb broth to which we add lemon and potatoes then elevate its savor with cilantro. 

They call them bottoms, I call them hearts.
I use frozen whole artichoke bottoms. It is simpler and their texture is always spot on! Yes, of course, you can always buy fresh artichokes, clean them, trim them etc… I rarely use this type of shortcut while cooking, but in this case, the frozen variety is just perfect.



Lemony Artichoke Stew / Lebanese Ardichawkeh (wou riz)

Recipe credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 4 to 6

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or Ghee)
1 lb (450g) lamb for stew, cubed
Sea Salt
2 cups finely chopped white onions
4 garlic gloves, finely grated
2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
2 cups chicken or lamb broth (preferably homemade)*
2 cups water
800 g frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup small diced potatoes
2 Tablespoons Cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
Sea Salt
Ground allspice
Lemon wedges for serving

Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need one large pot with a lid and one medium bowl.

Season the lamb pieces with salt. Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sear the meat on all sides. You are just looking for a light sear. Work in batches to no overcrowd the pot (you want a sear not a boiling meat!). Set aside in a medium bowl. In the same pot, over medium-high heat, add the chopped onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and mix briefly. Return the seared lamb to the pot, season with 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice mix with the onion and garlic then sprinkle the flour and combine until homogeneously coated. Add the chicken broth and water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for approximately 45 minutes, until the meat is tender. Add the artichoke hearts and diced potatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and let it cook for 20 minutes until the vegetables are cooked through and fork tender.
Add the cilantro and lemon juice. Taste and correct seasoning.
Let it simmer for a few minutes uncovered so the sauce texture can thicken a little bit…

Serve hot with white rice or Lebanese vermicelli rice and a lemon wedge for extra lemony love.
You can add a few fresh cilantro leaves, baby arugula or watercress to give a peppery note.

*if you are not using homemade broth be careful when adding salt… you can always add more, but not remove. Taste and season accordingly.