Menu
Dinner / Recipes

Lebanese Green Bean and Lamb Stew (Loubieh) for Winter-to-Spring Comfort

Loubieh is my absolute favorite Lebanese dish. We eat it every year at Christmas. I try not to make it too often in between holidays because that way it feels more special. But this time of year,  when winter is slowly transitioning to spring and we’re far off from both the festive, cozy winter holidays and the sun-soaked summer holidays, I feel like I could use a special dish. This Lebanese Green Bean and Lamb Stew (Loubieh) is it. Sometimes you gotta make a weeknight feel a bit special. 

This dish is meant for those early spring nights, when you’re not quite sure if you’re gonna get freezing rain or 70s and sunny. The green beans brighten it up so it doesn’t feel like one of those heavy mid-winter stews. And you don’t need to turn on the oven in case you do get one of those warm spring days. But at the same time, it’s nourishing and warming and comforting. 

Lebanese Cuisine

Loubieh is one of those things that every family makes their own way. If you put ten Lebanese grandmas together in a room and asked them each for their recipe, you’d get ten very different versions of this Lebanese lamb stew. And of course, every family would argue that theirs is the best. 

This is my family’s version of loubieh, the way I grew up eating it (and eventually, cooking it myself). Make it on a special occasion, or on a weeknight that would otherwise be boring. Use homemade stock to really make it special and serve over rice pilaf. Loubieh is perfect for those days when you’re stuck indoors and have the time to simmer the stew low and slow, tasting it every now and then so you can see how the flavors evolve. Make some tonight and enjoy this classic, comforting Lebanese dish!

Lebanese Green Bean and Lamb Stew (Loubieh)

Lebanese Green Bean and Lamb Stew (Loubieh)

Yield: 6-8 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

A comforting, simple stew with lamb or beef, tomatoes, and green beans.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, cubed (beef also works really well if you can’t find lamb)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups frozen green beans, thawed in a strainer to remove liquid
  • 2 cups beef or lamb stock
  • 1 280z can of tomato puree (no sodium preferably)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Kosher salt and pepper

Instructions

Stovetop Version

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. 

When oil is hot, add meat and toss with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. 

Stir in diced onions and saute until slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute. 

Mix in green beans and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly tender. 

Add stock and tomato puree and stir everything together. The meat and green beans should be covered by the liquid, but if not, add additional water until covered. 

Mix in an additional 1 ½  teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon. 

Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low heat until beans are tender - at least an hour, but if I know I’ll be home all day I’ll start this around lunchtime and let it simmer on the lowest possible heat for several hours. 

Taste before serving and adjust seasoning as needed - I usually stir in an additional sprinkle of all the spices at this point. 

Serve over rice pilaf with pita bread on the side.

Slow Cooker Version

Heat olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. 

When oil is hot, add meat and toss with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes. 

Stir in diced onions and saute until slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute, then transfer all of the contents to a crock pot. 

Add green beans, stock, tomato puree, an additional 1 ½  teaspoon pepper, 2 teaspoons salt, cumin, allspice, and cinnamon to the crockpot and mix everything together. The meat and green beans should be covered by the liquid, but if not, add additional water until covered. 

Cook on low until meat and green beans are very tender, 6-8 hours. 

Taste before serving and adjust seasoning as needed - I usually stir in an additional sprinkle of all the spices at this point. 

Serve over rice pilaf with pita bread on the side.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply