Spiced Lamb with Potatoes and Apricots

Nigella Lawson shares a recipe from her new book of home-cooking favourites

Nigella Lawson shares a recipe from her new book of home-cooking favourites

“This warmly aromatic lamb stew is just the sort of one-pot cooking that makes life easy when you have friends over; a traybake, which works on the same principle, being the other approach that dominates my cooking life. A bowl of green beans on the side and you’re ready to go. Strictly speaking it’s not necessary, but if you don’t mind double-carbing (I’m all in favour of it), some whole wheat couscous on the table alongside is worth considering too. For this amount of stew, work along the lines of 2¾ cups couscous and 3¼ cups water, seasoning it as you wish, and perhaps stirring in some toasted sliced almonds at the end.”


  • ¼ cup regular olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped, to give two cups loosely packed
  • 1 long or 2 short cinnamon sticks
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • A pinch of ground cloves
  • 4 to 6 cardamom pods, cracked open
  • 2¾ pounds boneless lamb neck or leg, diced for a stew
  • 2¼ pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into one inch chunks
  • 1½ cups soft dried apricots
  • 1 x 14-ounce can canned diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons, or to taste, sea salt flakes or kosher salt
  • Cilantro


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof saucepan that has a lid over at medium heat, then add the onions and cinnamon stick (or sticks). Cook gently for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. When the onions have softened and are beginning to colour a little, add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir in the cumin, coriander, allspice, paprika, cloves and cardamom pods.
  2. Tip in the diced lamb and turn in the spiced oil, coating all the pieces well, then add the potatoes and turn them, too. Drop in the dried apricots, pour in the canned tomatoes, then swill the tomato can out with some of the water and tip it into the pan. Add the rest of the water, stir in the salt, and bring to a boil. Once it’s bubbling, clamp on the lid and cook in the oven for two hours.
  3. Check that the lamb is tender and, if not, return to the oven for another 15 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes, then give a good stir as this will break up the potatoes a little, thickening the sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve in shallow bowls, scattering a little more cilantro over as you go.

Serves 6 to 8


Excerpted from the book At My Table by Nigella Lawson. Copyright © 2018 by Nigella Lawson. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All rights reserved. Photography by Jonathan Lovekin.