Hunger Games Lamb Stew with Dried Plums


When Z from Z’s Cup of Tea announced that her theme for this month’s Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free event was Fictional Foods, I knew I had to do a dish from the Hunger Games. She wants submissions to be foods inspired by books you read as child, or from books you discovered at a later age. Considering the Hunger Games were written for teenagers (yes, I’m a grown adult and I have no shame!), I figured it would fit the bill!

I also have a chocolate cake recipe from my favorite childhood book “Happy Winter” that is coming up too, so stay tuned!


If you’ve been under a rock and either haven’t heard of or haven’t read the Hunger Games trilogy, I’ll summarize it for you

Teenagers fighting to the death in an arena with the rest of the country watching.
Awful right?

Yes, but SO addicting. I read all three about a year ago when I was quarantined to my bedroom for the weekend with the stomach flu. Now that the first film has been released, I have ‘Games fever all over again! I do have to say though, that I was startled at how many extremely young kids were in the theater seeing the movie the night we went! The books are clean as far as language and sexual content, but considering the premise, are definitely gruesome!

Katniss Everdeen, the stories heroin, comes from a place where food is scarce and meals are meager. When asked what thing most impressed her about the “Capitol,” where the rich live and thrive, the first thing she can think of is the Lamb Stew with Dried Plums.

“So, Katniss, the Capitol must be quite a change from District Twelve. What’s impressed you the most since you arrived here?” asks Caesar.

“The lamb stew,” I get out.

“The one with the dried plums… Oh I eat it by the bucketful.”

Without giving too much away, Katniss is sent this delectable stew in the arena when she is practically starving, and it’s all she can do to not eat it all in one sitting.

“I rip it open at once and inside there’s a feast – fresh rolls, goat cheese, apples, and best of all, a tureen of that incredible lamb stew… Every cell in my body wants me to dig into that stew and cram it, handful by handful into my mouth.”

The only description of the stew is that is lamb and has dried plums, so I used that as my starting point and added some other vegetables and fruits that I thought would compliment those flavors. They also mention it’s served over wild rice, which of course is a grain, so we ate it over cauliflower rice. You could also eat it over mashed parsnips which would be divine. Stews are traditionally thickened with flour or cornstarch, but I thickened this one by pureeing some of the braised onions with the pan juices.

Happy Hunger Games!

and Happy Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free : April Edition!

Make sure to come back in June when I’m hosting. The theme will be portable Summertime foods good for the BBQs/Potlucks to come!


And for those of you who don’t want to eat out a tin can on the ground….

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Allergy Free Wednesdays


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Hunger Games Lamb Stew with Dried Plums

AUTHOR: Danielle Walker - AgainstAllGrain.com



  • 1-1/2 pounds lamb top round roast – trimmed of fat and cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig fresh parsley
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste (this one is SCD legal)
  • 1 cup butternut squash, cubed
  • ½ cup dried plums, halved
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a dutch oven or large cast iron pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Thoroughly dry the lamb with paper towels, then working in batches, brown the meat in the olive oil on all sides – about 5-7 minutes. Remove the lamb, then set aside.
  4. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the wine, chicken stock and tomato paste. Stir while you pour in the liquid to remove the bits at the bottom of the pan.
  5. Bring to a boil, then return the lamb to the pot. Add the bay leaf, rosemary, parsley, and thyme.
  6. Cover and place in the preheated oven for 1 hour, stirring only once half way through. Don’t lift the lid other than once, so the braising liquid stays hot and the steam stays trapped inside to ensure tender meat.
  7. Remove the pot from the oven, then carefully remove all of the onions and carrots and ⅓ of the pan juices. Discard the carrots, or keep them for another use. Set the onions and juices aside for later.
  8. Add the butternut squash, plums, raisins, salt and pepper to the pan, then return it back into the oven for an additional 20 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, place the reserved onions and ⅓ cup pan juices in a blender and process until smooth and thick. Keep covered and warm until the stew comes out of the oven.
  10. Pull the stew from the oven, and remove the herb sprigs. Stir in the onion puree.
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  • http://mylifeinapyramid.com Heba @ My Life in a Pyramid

    You’re so perceptive to notice that line in the movie about the lamb stew. As a foodie, I thought I’d notice stuff like that 😉 I am looking forward to trying this sometime. Love the taste of lamb! I’m pinning this to my boards. Take care

  • http://www.chickmonster.blogspot.com Tora

    Oh so delicious. I would also like to cram it into my mouth just like Katniss! Thank you so much for sharing this. Yum yum!

    • Against All Grain

      Lol. Me too!

  • Paige

    OK I have to tell you. My Fiance made this for dinner last night. We used lamb breast instead since it was on sale and threw that in, bones and all. As soon as he started cooking the lamb I could hear him saying “OMG.” “Man, this stew is going to be awesome.” Then after he cooked the stew for an hour (we didn’t have any good dishes to put it in the oven) the whole house smelled AMAZING. My Fiance was too excited to eat that stew.

    When it was finally ready, we sat down with some bread and dipped it in the stew. WOW it tasted so good. The actual stew was INCREDIBLE. The lamb melted in my mouth. All the different flavors and textures worked so well together with the raisins, dried plums, and squash. Absolutely amazing.

    When I read the books I too picked up on the lamb stew and wondered what it tasted like. I think what you created is it. Really. Thank you so much for an incredible recipe. We’ll be cooking it again and I can’t wait to warm some up for lunch today.

    • Against All Grain

      So happy you liked it!

  • http://wholenewmom.com Adrienne @ Whole New Mom

    Thanks for linking up to Allergy-Free Wednesdays. Hope to see you again tomorrow.

  • http://zscupoftea.com Zoe

    Hi Danielle, thanks so much for contributing to this month’s theme and also for changing my mind about food from The Hunger Games. :) I realize there’s still a lot of nasty food in the series, but thank you for introducing me to some of the tastier vittles. The round-up is now live: http://zscupoftea.com/2012/04/30/go-ahead-honey-its-gluten-free-april-round-up/