Frosty cold days and nights call for hearty stews. Saffron, cumin, ginger, and orange zest are among the ingredients that add a wonderful depth of flavor to this lamb stew. The list of ingredients may seem long, but your taste buds will be greatly rewarded as you eat this aromatic dish.
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Williams-Sonoma Soup & Stew
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 lb cubed lamb for stewing
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2½ cups beef stock or prepared broth
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup chopped dried dates
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
2. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Place the flour in a large bowl or lock-top plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Add the lamb in batches and stir or shake to coat thoroughly with the seasoned flour.
4. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil to the pot and heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches to avoid crowding, add the lamb and brown on all sides, 4-5 minutes for each batch. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
5. Return the onion mixture and browned lamb along with any accumulated juices to the pot. Add the garlic, cumin, saffron, and ginger and stir to coat the meat and vegetables. Add the stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a spoon. Add the tomatoes, dates, and orange zest and juice and bring to a boil over high heat.
6. Cover and bake in the oven until the meat is tender, 1½ – 2 hours. (If the sauce seems too thin, transfer the meat and vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon and boil the sauce on the stove top until thickened. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot.) Taste and adjust the seasoning.
7. Transfer the stew to a serving bowl and garnish with the parsley. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
1. A lamb shoulder or leg of lamb could be cut up for this stew.
2. I needed to use more oil than called for to brown all of the meat.
3. The sauce turned out perfectly. There was no need to reduce it on the stove top.