Main Dish

Estate Lamb Stew with Dried Plums and Olives

Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate & Gardens

5007 Fulton Road
Fulton, CA 95439

Take your time cooking this stew and you will be rewarded with the ultimate in comfort and flavor. You can prepare this dish in a slow cooker instead of on the stovetop; follow the manufacturer's instructions, and add the olives and plums near the end of the cooking process.

  • 3 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 small yellow onions, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Jackson Estate Seco Highlands Pinot Noir
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 2 cups beef or veal stock
  • 3/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1/4 cup dried plums, pitted and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups dried orzo
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh chives


Season the lamb with salt and pepper. 

In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in small batches, brown the lamb and transfer to a bowl. 

Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add the bay leaf, thyme, stock and tomato paste. Return the lamb to the pot. Cover and simmer until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. 

Add the olives and dried plums and simmer until the lamb is fork-tender, about 30 minutes more. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season generously with salt and stir in the orzo. Simmer until tender, 8 to10 minutes. Drain the orzo well. Return it to the pot, add the butter and stir until melted. Then add the crème fraîche and chives and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. 

Divide the orzo between 8 bowls and spoon the lamb stew on top. Serve immediately. Serves 8.