Green Bean (Fassoulia) and Lamb Stew

Whenever I find lamb bones or boneless stewing lamb at
the meat counter, I can’t resist buying as many packages as I can (without
hoarding, of course!). This was the case the other day when our grocer was
featuring lamb bones with meat.

Green Bean and Lamb Stew

I usually make Green Bean and Lamb Stew when it’s cool
outside, but I was really in the mood for it even though the outdoor
thermometer was registering 92°F. After preparing it step-by-step over two days,
and serving it on the third, it was a dish to behold. With its rich broth,
tender meat, and (almost) melt-in-your-mouth green beans, this really hit the

Pilaf, salad, and crusty bread rounded out the menu.  

Green Bean and Lamb Stew                                                        

Ingredients for Day 1:
3 to 4 packages meaty lamb bones  (or 1 lb.  boneless stewing

Ingredients for Day 2:
1 – 1 lb. pkg. frozen Italian green (pole) beans or regular
green beans

1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. mild red pepper paste – OR – tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp. Aleppo red pepper
1½ tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. freshly ground coriander
Dash cayenne pepper, optional


Day 1

1.  In a large pot,
cover the lamb bones with water; add 1 to 2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil,
skimming any foam or scum that comes to the surface. Reduce heat, slightly cover the
pot, and cook lamb on medium-low heat for 1 to 
1 ½ hours or until meat is falling off the bone.

2. Remove bones with meat from the broth and allow to cool. Strain the
broth into a bowl; cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

3. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones.
Store meat pieces in a covered bowl and refrigerate. Discard bones.


1. Remove bowl of lamb broth from refrigerator. Remove
and discard any fat that has solidified on the surface.

2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and
garlic and cook until onion softens a bit. Add about 3 cups of the broth to the
pot along with the red pepper (or tomato) paste, green beans, meat pieces, and

3. Cook on medium heat, partially covered for about 1
hour or until green beans are very soft. Stir from time to time. Add more broth
or water, if necessary. Adjust seasonings according to your taste. (NOTE: Freeze any extra broth for later use.)

4. Serve with bulgur or rice pilaf, salad, and crusty

NOTE: It’s really best to eat this on the 3rd day
so flavors have a chance to thoroughly blend.
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  1. Ara October 10, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Your choice of spices is very interesting. Is this something you came up with or is this traditional Dikranagertsi?

    My mom (and now, I) make the same stew, but we simply use tomato paste (and/or diced tomatoes), lemon juice, and just the garlic (no onions). I'm trying to remember if we use dried mint, but I don't think so. We typically serve over rice pilaf, but I think that's an Aintabtsi thing.

    1. Robyn October 10, 2012 at 7:56 pm

      Ara, The red pepper paste is a favorite ingredient from my Musa Daghtsi side; the coriander is what my Dikranagerdtsi side prefers; onions and the other seasonings are my personal preference. This dish, as you know, is very versatile- 🙂

  2. Anonymous September 24, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    do you ever add cinnamon to this dish. I think I did once and it had a great effect….

    1. Robyn Kalajian October 11, 2017 at 8:17 pm

      Personally, I do not, but that's my preference. If you like it, go for it!

  3. Karen Starkovich April 28, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Thank you for the beautiful instructions! I grew up eating this made by my German/Norwegian mama. My
    dad’s Armenian grandmother taught her as it was one of my dad’s and my grandfather’s favorite dishes. And yes, It does take 3 days and tastes even better when leftover.


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