Kuzu Guvec - Turkish Lamb Stew

Lamb stew with potatoes and carrots in a large bowl and a spoon in it.

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Lamb stew with simple ingredients such as onion, potatoes, carrots, peppers and tomato. It is one of the easiest tasty stew recipes. 


Units Scale
  • 700g (1.5 lb) diced lamb
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 10 shallots, peeled
  • 2 potatoes, sliced into large cubes
  • 4 green peppers, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or oregano


  1. Put diced lamb in a cast iron pan or a stainless pan. Add in the butter and cook covered with the lid over medium high heat for 5 minutes.
  2. Let the lamb pieces release water and then absorb it back. 
  3. When there is little water left in the pan, reduce the heat to medium low. Cook it without the lid, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the shallots, potatoes, peppers, carrots, garlic cloves and tomatoes.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper over these. Put a few sprigs of fresh thyme or oregano on the top. 
  6.  In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and hot water. Pour this over the pan and cook covered over low heat until everything is tender but not mushy. This might take about 35-40 minutes. 
  7. Remove from the heat, let it rest for 15 minutes and then serve.


  1. Don't chop the vegetables into very small pieces. Otherwise, they will get mushy.
  2. Some Turkish green peppers are hot while some are sweet. Use whichever you prefer. And if you can't find them, use 1 green bell pepper.
  3. Don't try to cook the lamb guvec fast over high heat. The slow cooking method over low heat is what makes this dish really tasty. 
  4. If you want to add eggplants, make sure to remove their bitter juices. To do this, soak them in salty water after chopping them. Then squeeze them in your hands and transfer on a plate.
  5. You can garnish the stew with chopped parsley before serving if you want.

How To Cook In The Oven: 

  1. To start, preheat your oven to 325ºF (160ºC). In terms of recipe prep, you will need to blitz or grate the tomatoes instead of dicing them. Because you won't stir the dish as much when it is inside the oven, this is the a good way to ensure the tomatoes release all of their juices.
  2. In a casserole dish, combine the lamb, vegetables, salt and pepper. Make sure the ingredients are well seasoned with salt and pepper. Then, add dollops of butter in between the ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the hot water and tomato paste. Add this liquid with the grated tomatoes to the baking dish. Finally, add thyme or oregano.
  4. Cover the dish with a  lid or sheet of foil. Leave the ingredients to bake for roughly an hour before checking them. After 1 hour, stir the ingredients and cover the dish again. Add extra water if it gets too dry. Bake the stew for another 1 hour.