Rich Spiced Lamb Stew: Recipe from Mercurio's new cookbook

Paul Mercurio has shared a recipe from his new cookbook Kitchen Mojo, out in time for Father’s Day.

Recipe and image from Kitchen Mojo by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

Recipe and image from Kitchen Mojo by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

With two bestsellers under his belt, Mercurio’s latest cookbook encourages reluctant cooks to try their hand at deliciously simple dishes including minestrone soup, salt, sugar and honey-cured salmon with wasabi mayo and apple, peach and hazelnut tarts.

With recipes centred around occasions, Paul wants his recipes to take the stress out of situations like entertaining a crowd, cooking for one or for the family – no meal should be so overwhelming that you end up at the local pizza shop in desperation.

Exclusive to Australian Brews News, here is one of the many recipes you’ll find in Kitchen Mojo – involving beer of course!

Rich Spiced Lamb Stew

I first made this stew when I was filming my TV show in Kenya. Of course, being in a different country meant there were different customs and ingredients. The gentleman I was cooking with who was the head chef at the lodge we were staying at gave me some chillies to use in the stew which I assumed would be the same as the ones I use in Australia—they were not, they were quite a bit hotter and let’s just say there was much sweating going on around the table at tasting time!

Recipe and image from Kitchen Mojo by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books

Recipe and image from Kitchen Mojo by Paul Mercurio, published by Murdoch Books


  • 80 ml (2½ fl oz/1⁄3 cup) olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 600g (1 lb 5 oz) deboned lamb leg, cut into roughly 2 cm (¾ in) cubes
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) Belgian double ale
  • 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, sliced (or to taste; I use up to 4 chillies to make this really quite hot!)
    45 g (12⁄3 oz/¼ cup) sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 6 semi-dried dates (such as medjool)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 15 g (½ oz/¼ cup) chopped coriander (cilantro)
  • 7 g (¼ oz/¼ cup) chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
  • 3 roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 6 wedges each
  • 45 g (12⁄3 oz/1 cup) sliced kale
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a large deep-sided frying pan or flameproof casserole dish that has a lid over medium–high heat, then add the onion and garlic, and fry, stirring often, for 8–10 minutes. Add the cumin, paprika and chilli powder, stirring to combine, and continue to fry for a couple of minutes.

Increase the heat to high, add the lamb and stir well to coat with the spice mix, then brown for about 10minutes. Stir in the beer and 150 ml (5½ fl oz) of water, then stir in the sliced chillies, sultanas, dates and cinnamon. Season, then add the fresh herbs. Turn down to a simmer, cover with the lid and cook for about 1½ hours or until the meat is quite tender. Check the meat after an hour or so.

Add the tomato wedges and kale to the stew, stirring to combine, and simmer for a further 10 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water as the stew can become a little dry. It is meant to be a thick-dry style stew though, not a wet stew with lots of liquid.

Serve on mashed potato or with boiled potatoes on the side or some couscous.

Feeds 4.

Back to Historical