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Spicy Moroccan Lamb Stew

Spicy Moroccan Lamb Stew
This spicy lamb stew recipe is actually a tagine, a flavorful Moroccan stew. Tagine can also refer to a cooking pot with a high cone-shaped earthenware lid and a cast-iron or earthenware base, used especially for stews in Moroccan cuisine and requiring little liquid.

You can use a tagine to cook to this stew or if you do not have one, you can use common cooking equipment. This recipe would work either ways and would give you a wonderfully blended sweetness and spiciness in a stew. Note that for a lamb shoulder to become tender, cook it slowly at a low even temperature.

What to Prepare

2-3 lbs of 1½-inch cubes lamb shoulder stew meat
Olive oil
3/4 cup of white wine
2 chopped yellow onions
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chopped red bell peppers
2 chopped dry pasilla chiles with stems and most seeds removed
1 Tbsp hot Hungarian paprika or mixture of ½ tbsp sweet paprika + ½ tbsp chili powder
1½ teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground cardamon
1½ cups chicken stock
14 oz of canned whole tomatoes, put through a food mill to make a thick moist paste

8-10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
4-5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup currants
Salt

Pepper

Procedure

1.       Dry the lamb by patting them with paper towels. This helps the lamb brown. Using a big and heavy high-sided skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the lamb pieces in batches (do not crowd them), turning as needed to have them browned evenly on all sides. This takes about 6-8 minutes. Take the cooked lamb and place them in a bowl, pouring the excess oil over the lamb.

2.       Place the skillet again over the medium heat and add wine. Stir this using a spatula to remove any meat bits that held to the pan. Mix in the lamb after 2-3 minutes.

3.       Place the skillet to medium heat again with a tablespoon of olive oil, onions and garlic. Cover the skillet and cook this for about 5 minutes or until tender then add the bell pepper and pasilla chiles. Leaving the skillet uncovered, continue cooking for 20 minutes until tender.

4.       While waiting, arrange the parsley, thyme and bay leaf on doubled-over cheesecloth square’s center then tie the ends of the cloth together securely using a kitchen string to create a bouquet garni.

5.       After ingredients in the skillet are tender, add the paprika, cumin, and cardamom and cook for another minute. Mix in the tomatoes, lamb, chicken stock, raisins, currants, and bouquet garni. Using high heat, allow the mixture to boil then decrease the heat to low. Partially cover the skillet and continue cooking for about 3 hours or until the lamb is tender.

6.       Add salt and pepper to taste. You can now serve the stew with couscous or rice (wheat-free option). This serves 4-6 people.

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