Shoulder of Lamb with Okra and Tomatoes

James Beard

Author and Educator

The Creoles and Southerners used a great deal of okra in their cookery. In this dish it is more important for texture than flavor, which is principally supplied by the tomato, onion, and garlic.


  • 4 pounds shoulder of lamb, boned and rolled after some fat is removed
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 green pepper, cut into julienne strips
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato juice
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 pound okra, washed and split in halves
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Preheat oven to 300ºF.

In a heavy skillet, Dutch oven, or braising pan, sear the lamb in olive oil, turning on all sides to acquire an evenness of color. Salt and pepper to taste.

Reduce the heat slightly, add the onions and garlic, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add the pepper and tomato juice. Cover, and simmer atop the stove or bake for 45 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and okra. Taste for salt and pepper.

Cook, covered, another 30 minutes or until the lamb is tender but not overcooked. Transfer to a hot platter. Add the lemon juice to the pan juices. Garnish the platter with steamed rice and parsley, and serve the sauce apart. Also serve a salad.


6 servings