Where Is My Spoon Recipes Stews Romanian Lamb Stew – Tocanita de miel

Romanian Lamb Stew – Tocanita de miel

by Adina 10/04/2020 8 comments

romanian tocana de miel on a white plate
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 Romanian lamb stew or tocanita de miel – incredibly tender lamb pieces stewed in an aromatic sauce.

 

Romanian Stew – Tocana

This Romanian lamb stew is one of the best dishes I know. So good, you will keep making it again and again.

 

Romanian Lamb Stew

 

How about trying lamb this Easter? I know lots of people like lamb, but I know really lots of other people who don’t. I don’t think I know any other kind of meat that is so controversial (well, at least here in my part of the world).

The main reason people mention when saying that they don’t like lamb is the sheep taste of the meat. First of all, most of these people have never tasted sheep (I think few people actually did eat sheep) and some of them have never tasted lamb either, they refuse it just because it might taste of sheep (which for me it doesn’t make any sense).

My dear mother-in-law has a really nice story: she would not taste lamb because her husband ate sheep about 30 years ago and he said it wasn’t good, it tasted too much like sheep… Go figure!

Anyway, I have never had this problem, I’ve always enjoyed eating lamb. It was not often that we ate lamb, just once a year at Easter, but I loved it!

This lamb stew or tocanita de miel is the perfect dish to get anybody into liking lamb, actually. The meat is so tender and the taste so delicate, not as lamby as it is when you cook a whole leg or shoulder of lamb.

 

Romanian Lamb Stew

 

What is tocana or tocanita?

First of all, tocanita is just the diminutive form of tocana, so they are the same dish, probably the most cooked and eaten kind of dish in Romania.

You can make a tocana with just about anything, any kind of meat you want, any kind of vegetables.

There are vegetarian and vegan tocanita recipes eaten in summer when the veggies are plentiful or during the fasting times before Easter and Christmas. For instance, this eggplant stew or this leek and olive stew – they really are some of my favorite vegan stews.

Or the always present tocana de cartofi – potato stew, which I probably have been eating at least every two weeks when I was growing up. It was cheap, filling and super delicious. And really a recipe that any child would love.

 

Romanian Lamb Stew

 

Ingredients

Lamb:

  • I always make this stew with cubed meat from the leg of the lamb. I normally don’t manage to find a boneless lamb leg, but I ask the butcher to remove the bone from the lamb leg. You could do it yourself, but the butcher always makes it better.
  • Don’t leave the bone behind. Take it with you and make lamb stock or freeze it to make lamb stock at a later time.

Wine:

  • You will need a small amount of white wine for this Romanian stew.
  • Red wine would work as well if you happen to have an open bottle just standing there.
  • You can also cook the lamb stew without any wine at all, but I like to use, it adds flavor.

Vegetables:

  • Onions, red bell pepper and tomatoes.

Spices:

  • Very good quality sweet paprika powderromanian lamb stew, Romanian Lamb Stew – Tocanita de miel (Amazon affiliate link).
  • When it comes to paprika powder I always advise buying the best quality you can get, cheap paprika only tastes of dust.
  • And the good paprika powder is not that expensive either, it is really worth buying.

 

Romanian Lamb Stew

How to serve any Romanian stew?

  • You can serve tocana with bread, the traditional Romanian fluffy white bread is perfect to mop up the sauce from any kind of Romanian stew. But any other kind of bread would be fine as well.
  • Mamaliga or polenta are also perfect with many kinds of stews (not with potato stew though). Try polenta with pork stew, meatball stew with sauerkraut or any kind of vegetable stew.
  • Mashed potatoes can be served with any kind of meat stew as well and with many of the veggie stews as well.
  • And don’t forget the pickled vegetables, like green tomato pickles, pickles are the best match for tocana. Or a nice white cabbage salad.

 

More Romanian stews?

Romanian Pea and Chicken Stew – Mazare cu pui

Polenta Chicken – Pui cu mamaliga

Rabbit Stew – Tocana de iepure

Romanian Sausage Stew – Tochitura

Stewed Cabbage – Varza calita

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stew with meat ready to be served

 

piece of tender lamb held on a fork

Romanian Lamb Stew – Tocanita de miel

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Romanian lamb stew or tocanita de miel - incredibly tender lamb pieces stewed in an aromatic sauce.

Ingredients

  • 800 g/ 1.8 lb lamb meat (from the leg)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 100 ml/ 3.4 fl.oz/ scant ½ cup white wine
  • 200 g/ 7 oz tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a small bunch of parsley

Instructions

  1. Chop the meat into small cubes. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or cast iron pot and fry the meat in two or three batches until nicely browned. Transfer each batch to a bowl or plate.
  2. In the meantime, chop the onions very finely and the bell pepper into small and thin strips. After removing the meat, place the onions and the pepper in the pot, add the salt, mix well and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until softened.
  3. Return the lamb pieces to the pot, add the wine and the finely chopped tomatoes, paprika powder and tomato paste. Mix well, cover tightly and cook for one hour.
  4. Check every 15-20 minutes and stir well. Add a bit more water if the stew threatens to catch. However, if you have a tight lid for your pot that should not be necessary, it wasn't in my case.
  5. Add about half of the chopped parsley, adjust the taste with salt and pepper and let simmer for another 5 minutes. The meat should be really really tender. Serve as suggested above.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 680Total Fat: 46gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 416mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 51g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

8 comments
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8 comments

[email protected]'s Recipes 06/04/2017 - 11:25

This looks so tender and good that I wish I ate lamb!

Reply
Anu - My Ginger Garlic Kitchen 07/04/2017 - 18:49

This stew looks so flavorful, tender and delicious, Adina.

Reply
Maha Khan 10/04/2017 - 16:47

Love your recipe.
It’s looking very tasty.
I will make this at home….

Reply
mjskitchen 12/04/2017 - 04:23

This looks fantastic Adina! I’m going to be making this. Bobby and I eat more lamb than beef so I’m always looking for new ideas. Love this! Thanks for sharing.

Reply
Adina 13/04/2017 - 08:37

Great, MJ. Let me know if you liked it.

Reply
Anna 14/03/2018 - 12:08

What is the one half cup of white? Did you mean to say white wine? Thanks I am looking forward to making the recipe

Reply
Adina 14/03/2018 - 13:20

Hi Anna. Yes, it is wine.

Reply
Karen (Back Road Journal) 15/04/2020 - 16:04

I am one of the people who does like lamb and your stew looks delicious.

Reply

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