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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb

Yes, this dish is totally fabulous!  I made this for a birthday celebration for my dad.. it was my mom's idea to do Moroccan and dad likes pretty much anything so I went with that idea. I just couldn't decide between our favorite Moroccan dish - Lemon, Olive, and Chicken Tagine recipe and this new Moroccan lamb stew recipe I saw on, which sounded equally as delicious. We don't have lamb very often, but I knew the chicken dish was a winner.. finally I decided, we're doing them both. Leftovers will be delicious, if there would be any, and we get to compare these two dishes side by side. We had already had our chicken tagine recipe for dinner on Wednesday but we were both like "I'd definitely have that again Sunday" and the lamb dish was going to offer a different set of flavors - apricots, chickpeas, fennel seeds, lemon, cinnamon, ginger... it sounded very flavorful!

Everything turned out perfectly - I followed the recipe exactly and sure enough, about an hour and a half later, the lamb was incredibly tender and the flavors were awesome. The sweetness of the apricots offset the spicy lamb and the chickpeas added a nice body to the stew. Topped with some fresh cilantro, and this is possibly our new favorite Moroccan dish. This is a must try, simply delicious.

Moroccan Slow-Cooked Lamb
Find the recipe here on

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds trimmed boned lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2- to 2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 15 1/2-ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
1 cup dried apricots (about 5 ounces)
2 large plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons (packed) grated lemon peel

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add lamb and toss to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add lamb to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally and adding 2 more tablespoons oil to skillet between batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to another large bowl after each batch.

Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium; sauté until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add broth, garbanzo beans, apricots, tomatoes, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and lemon peel and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Return lamb to skillet and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until lamb is just tender, about 1 hour. Uncover and simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.)

Transfer lamb and sauce to bowl. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

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