Arni Me Bamyes (Greek Lamb Stew with Okra and tomato Sauce)

Greek lamb stewed with okra. True peasant fare!

The key to preparing okra properly is to stir the vegetable very gently and to not overcook it.

Susan Tweeton


  • 1½–2 pounds lean stew meat, lamb or beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2–4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1–2 bay leaves
  • 1–2 teaspoons oregano
  • Pinch of allspice
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 ounce)
  • 3 cups water or beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • Okra* (see below)


Use 1 pound fresh okra or one 16-ounce bag frozen okra. Wash fresh okra (if using) and trim stems, taking care not to cut into the flesh of the okra pods.  


  1. Heat olive oil in heavy Dutch overn. Add lamb/beef in batches and brown well on all sides; set aside. Add onion to pot and sauté until golden. Drain off any excess fat.
  2. Return lamb/beef to pot and add garlic, bay leaves, oregano, allspice, salt, pepper, tomato sauce, and water or beef broth. Bring to simmer and cook for 1–1½ hours until meat is just tender. Add okra and cook approximately 30 additional minutes until meat and vegetables are completely tender. Do not overcook okra. Stir very gently. Adjust seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with sweet French bread and/or roasting potatoes.