Cretan Tsigariastó Recipe (Goat Stewed with Herbs and Wine)

A famous dish from the Mediterranean, Tsigariasto, also known as Τσιγαριαστό κρέας, is essentially pieces of tender goat or lamb seasoned with oregano and cooked very slowly in a splash of wine with onions. It’s a very old dish made from goat or lamb in the Mediterranean, specifically Crete and Greece. It’s delicious, easy to make, and only has a handful of ingredients, but it does take a little time to prepare.

Tsigariasto Traditional Cretan Lamb in a bowl with shallots next to a glass of Greek wine.
Goat Tsigariasto, with a glass of the same wine it was cooked with.

Bone-in lamb and goat

The best part, at least in my opinion, is that this is a fantastic way to use the bone-in goat and lamb that Shepherd Song farm sells.

Grass fed goat meat with bone in large chunks.
Bone-in goat pieces.

Bone-in lamb and goat looks very different from the typical European cuts of lamb and goat that most Americans will be used too, but it’s actually how most of the goat and lamb around the world, especially in remote areas where access to a butcher or fresh meat market may not be an option.

As it will include a variety of cuts, bone-in lamb and goat meat is exciting to eat-you might get a piece of shoulder, a chunk of rib, or a tender slice of shank. As the entire animal is cut up into similarly-sized pieces, it makes for an interesting, interactive eating experience. If you haven’t cooked with this type of butchery cut before, I highly recommend it for a change of pace.

Tsigariasto Traditional Cretan lamb recipe in a Dutch oven.
After cooking.

Chef Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo, The Forager Chef

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo, a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Tsigariasto Traditional Cretan Lamb recipe plated in a dish.
The meat can be served as-is with a spoonful of the cooking juices, or it can be served with stewed greens, like purslane.

More Mediterranean Lamb Recipes

Lamb Dolmas

Lamb Marsala with Mushrooms

Greek Lamb Shanks

Tsigariasto Traditional Cretan Lamb (3)
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5 from 1 vote

Cretan Tsigariastó Recipe (Goat Stewed with Herbs and Wine)

A traditional dish from Crete and Greece, Tsigariasto is a delicious way to prepare bone in lamb and goat meat.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Marinating time8 hours
Total Time10 hours 15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Cretan, Greek
Keyword: Bone in Goat, Bone in Lamb
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 705kcal
Cost: 20


  • 1 Dutch oven


  • 2 lbs bone-in lamb or goat
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1.5 Tablespoons fresh oregano or marjoram plus a few sprigs for cooking
  • 2 tablespoons lamb or goat fat or cooking oil
  • 8 oz shallots on the small side, about 12-14 each


  • Season the lamb or goat pieces with the salt, pepper and oregano and allow to sit overnight. The next day, cut ¼ inch off the ends of each shallot.
  • Bring 2 quarts of lightly salted water to a boil and blanch the shallots for 30 seconds to one minute, then remove, cool, peel and reserve, keeping the shallots whole. In a large skillet, such as a 12 inch cast iron skillet, brown the lamb very well on all sides, then remove to a baking dish wide enough to accommodate them in a single layer.
  • Add the shallots to the pan and cook for a minute more. Add the wine to the pan, scraping up the browned bits, reduce by half, then pour the liquid and shallots over the lamb.
  • Lay a few 4-5 inch sprigs of fresh oregano over the top, cover the meat and shallots with a sheet of parchment, top with a lid, then bake at 275 for 2.5-3 hours or until fork-tender, checking on the meat half-way through cooking to make sure the pan doesn’t dry out.
  • The goal is to cook the meat with as little liquid as possible so that is gently cooks in it’s own juices and the wine.
  • To serve, discard the oregano sprigs if using.
  • Arrange a couple pieces the lamb on plates or large bowls, dividing the shallots evenly between them, spoon over and drippings from the pan (if any) garnish with the chives if using, and serve with a glass of the wine the lamb cooked in.
  • Serve with a side of cooked bitter greens for a traditional meal.


Bone in goat meat is the best cut to use but sliced shanks can work too. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 705kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 22g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 578mg | Potassium: 714mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 4mg