Lamb and rhubarb stew -- as seen at 3rd Annual Lillstreet Rhubarb Party

It started as sort of a joke, but every year, my pottery friends have a rhubarb-themed potluck. I like to get creative and approach this like an Iron Chef challenge, so this year I made a lamb tagine, using rhubarb in place of preserved lemon. I didn't officially call it a tagine, because I'm not sure how "authentic" it is -- and stew sounds more approachable anyway. A couple of people asked for the recipe, so here it is... I didn't really follow a recipe, so hopefully I've accurately remembered everything I put into it!


Lamb and Rhubarb Stew

2.5 lb lamb shoulder or bone-in stew meat

1 tbsp light olive oil

4 small onions (or 2 regular sized ones)

2 cans chicken broth

1 can diced tomatoes

1-2 cans water

3 cloves garlic

1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp coriander

1/3 tsp cinnamon

1/3 tsp cumin

salt to taste

3 dried chiles


4 small carrots, sliced

1 small butternut squash, peeled and julienned

3 stalks rhubarb, sliced

10 dried apricots, chopped


¼ onion, finely diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 can garbanzo beans

juice of 1 lemon


rhubarb pickles, optional


Brown lamb in olive oil in a large, preferably nonstick soup pot (do this in two batches if it doesn’t all fit in one layer on the bottom of the pan).

Sautee onions for a few minutes, until softened and slightly browned.

Add broth, tomatoes, water, and spices.

Stir well to release browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Simmer for 1 ½-2 hours, until meat begins to fall off the bone.


Then, add the carrots, squash, rhubarb, and apricots.

Cook until softened but still slightly firm, about 10 minutes.

Cool and remove meat from the bone.

Add the de-boned meat back in, along with the ¼ raw onion, yellow pepper, garbanzo beans, and lemon juice. Add more salt to taste, if necessary.

Heat and serve.


If you really want to bring out the rhubarb flavor, garnish with pickled rhubarb.


Pickled rhubarb

1 C vinegar – I used a mixture of cider and rice vinegar because that’s what I had in the cupboard.

1C sugar (or equivalent amount of stevia or honey)

1C water


3-4 stalks rhubarb, sliced or chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced or chopped


Chop or slice rhubarb and ginger to your personal preference – if you want more of a relish, chop finely; if you want more traditional pickles, slice larger.

Heat vinegar, sugar, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Let cool slightly.

Once the sweetener is dissolved, place the rhubarb in a jar and pour the vinegar mixture over it.

Place in the refrigerator and leave there, covered, for 2 days before serving.