The Funerary Feast of King Midas Stew Recipe
The Funerary Feast of King Midas Stew is a recipe recreated from ingredients that were chemically determined to be present in the pots of the Funerary Feast of King Midas of Phrygia about 740 BCE, found at the Midas Mound (Great Tumulus) in Gordion, located in Yassihöyük, Turkey. The chemical analysis was performed by Dr. Patrick McGovern of University of Pennsylvania. This recipe was developed by Ayse Salzmann of the Gordion Project and Pam Horowitz of the Museum Catering Company, with the help of Dr. Naomi Miller, a paleobotanist and member of the Gordion team and Dr. Patrick McGovern. The recipe was posted on a slip of paper inside the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, PA during The Golden Age of King Midas temporary exhibit, which is where I have picked it up in November 2016. I have modified some of the measurements and added many extra instructions, because the original recipe was really vague.
Servings Prep Time
4people 1hour
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
4people 1hour
Cook Time
  • 1 1/2lb LambStew meat
  • 1 1/2cups Green LentilsRinsed
  • 4cups Water
  • 1 OnionLarge, chopped
  • 1 CarrotChopped
  • 2stalks CeleryChopped
  • 1teaspoon Cumin
  • 1tablespoon Thyme
  • 2tablespoons Honey
  • 1tablespoon Salt
  • 1tablespoon Black PepperCoarse Ground
  • 3/4cup Red Wine
  • 4tablespoons Olive Oil
  1. Chop up the onion, carrot and celery.
  2. Cut the Lamb stew meat into 1.5 inch cubes.
  3. Season the lamb meat with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Saute the meat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, inside a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, until the meat becomes brown. When the meat is done remove it from the pan into a glass bowl. Keep the lid off the dutch oven while stirring and flipping the meat.
  6. In the same dutch oven, saute chopped onion, carrot and celery in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for about 5 minutes. Keep the lid off the dutch oven while constantly stirring the vegetables.
  7. After the vegetables were sauted for 5 minutes, add to them cumin and thyme and 1/2 a cup of Red Wine to deglaze the dutch oven. Keep the lid off and constantly keep stirring the mixture in the dutch oven for another 5 minutes.
  8. Return the stew meat back into the dutch oven with all of its juices.
  9. Add 2 cups of water to the pot. Bring the water to boil and keep it gently boiling for 30 minutes. Stir the pot every 5 minutes. After 30 minutes check if the meat is tender. If it is not tender keep boiling until tender. This step can be done with the lid on or off. If you keep the lid on the water will boil faster. You will need to remove the lid to stir it. After stirring, close the lid back.
  10. At this point the meat should be eatable. Taste the stew and add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Add green lentils and remaining 2 cups of water to the pot. Stir the pot and bring to a boil again. Then simmer everything for 30 minutes. Make sure the pot is covered with the lid during this whole step, especially during simmering.
  12. Taste the stew and add salt and pepper to taste again.
  13. Add 1/4 cup of red wine.
  14. Add 2 tablespoons of honey and stir everything again.
  15. Make sure the dutch oven is covered with the lid. Remove the dutch oven from the fire and place it inside the baking oven, which by this point should be preheated to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake everything inside the dutch oven, inside the baking oven for 40 minutes. The lid must stay on the whole time the dutch oven is inside the baking oven. Do not overcook the stew by keeping it longer in the oven than 40 minutes, otherwise it will dry out.
  16. After 40 minutes check if the meat is completely cooked through and done. The meat should be extremely soft and tender, and easily fall apart from being poked by the fork. If the meat is done, remove the dutch oven from the baking oven and serve.
Recipe Notes

The original recipe suggested to possibly use Midas Touch beer instead of Red Wine. However, since Midas Touch beer might be really difficult to find for many people I have decided to keep it out of the main recipe. Midas Touch beer is an authentic ancient beer recipe from the The Funerary Feast of King Midas recreated by Dr. Patrick McGovern from the residue found in beer pots at the burial site in Gordion and brewed commercially by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

The stew should have a strong taste of lentils and be a little spicy. The lamb meat should be very soft and tender and fall apart in your mouth.