Persian Saffron lamb

6 Servings

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 4 hours


One of the most delicious ways to cook lamb, featuring our Persian Advieh, which already contains saffron, but we indulge in an extra dose of pure saffron. Delicious served with Persian Jeweled Rice Pilaf and a simple bright lemony salad to balance the rich flavours. It is even more delicious the following day reheated. 


4 TBL vegetable oil or ghee (divided)

2 LB lamb, cut into 1″ stew chunks (leg or shoulder, or you can also use lamb shanks or other bone-in lamb)

1-2 TBL Persian Advieh

½-1 tsp saffron threads, crushed and soaked in ice water or milk

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

9 cloves garlic, crushed

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

2 TBL tomato paste

¼ cups good olives, pitted and chopped roughly

salt and pepper to taste

2-3 cups brown stock

Small bunch fresh thyme

Small bunch fresh parsley

½ cup chopped parsley to garnish

¼ cup toasted slivered almonds



A day in advance, rub the lamb with salt to taste and Persian Advieh. Leave to season in the fridge over-night. Remove from fridge 1 hour before cooking.


Crush saffron and soak it In ice water or milk if you have not done so.


Heat 2 TBL oil or ghee in medium-large pan over medium heat. Brown the lamb on all sides for 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.


Add other 2 TBL oil of ghee in the same pan over medium heat.


Add onions. Sauté until soft for about 3 minutes.


Add carrots and celery. Sauté for 2 minutes.


Add garlic and ginger. Sauté for 2 minutes.


Add tomato paste and olives, sauté and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add a little water to help if it gets too thick.


Season to taste. add stock, fresh thyme and parsley bunches. Bring to a boil.


Return lamb to pan and add saffron soaked in water or milk. Cover very tight with lid and tin foil. Braise on low heat for 3-4 hours inside the oven or on the stove top until lamb is very tender.


Remove lamb carefully from braise and strain liquid with a fine strainer. Let liquid cool down a bit so fat rises to the top.


Remove fat from top of braising liquid and heat de-fatted liquid in pot over medium-high heat until it boils. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook uncovered until liquid is reduced and thickened.


Return lamb to thickened braising liquid and cover to heat through.


Serve garnished with chopped parsley and toasted almonds.