By Cat, April 2010 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
I’m just beginning to explore Moroccan foods. I once tried a Moroccan restaurant near my office in Portland. I don’t recall what I ordered, but it came swimming in a burning hot red oily liquid that definitely put me off. Now I’m experimenting with my own Moroccan dishes, so that I have more control over the end result. I’ve not yet tried this recipe.
Like many Moroccan dishes, this recipe combines the lamb with garbanzos (chickpeas), and wonderful spices.
Slow-Cooked Lamb, Moroccan Style
This recipe is adapted from Group Recipes: Moroccan Slow Cooked Lamb (1). The original serves 12 or more, so I cut it to serve 4.
Of course, you can use canned garbanzos (chickpeas), but I prefer to sprout dried chickpeas then cook them myself to ensure there are no unwanted added ingredients. Start sprouting at least 3 days before you want to make this recipe.
Similarly you can use commercial tomato paste, but I prefer to make my own; see Homemade Tomato Paste. I do not recommend using commercial chicken broth; instead, I make my own Chicken Stock (a bone-broth).
Ingredients & Equipment:
- Spice mix:
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp unrefined sea salt
- ⅓ tsp fennel seeds
- ⅛ tsp cayenne
- ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup sprouted & cooked chickpeas (garbanzos), rinsed & drained
- ½ red onion, finely chopped
- 1 large (or 2 small) plum tomato(s), chopped
- 2 oz (⅓ cup) dried apricots
- 1 cinnamon stick
- ¼” – ½” piece ginger root, to make 1 ½ – 2 tsp peeled & minced
- 2 tsp (packed) grated lemon zest
- ¾ – 1 lb lamb stew meat, or 1 ½ – 2 lb lamb shoulder
- 1 ½ Tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- ⅔ cup rich chicken stock
- 2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
- jar for sprouting
- 2 large bowls
- tiny bowl
- cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed saucier with lid
- Sprout: Start garbanzos to sprout at least 3 days before preparing meal, then cook until tender.
- Prep: Chop onion; set aside.
- Chop tomato and place in a bowl; peel and mince ginger root and add to chopped tomato; add cooked chickpeas, dried apricots; grate lemon zest and add to tomato mixture with cinnamon stick; set aside.
- Debone and trim lamb. Cut meat into 1.5 – 2″ pieces and place in large bowl.
- Spice mix: In tiny bowl, combine cumin, coriander, salt, fennel, black pepper and cayenne. Add to meat chunks and toss to coat.
- Stew: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. working in batches, add lamb to skillet and cook until browned on all sides, turning, and adding remaining oil between batches, about 8 minutes per batch. Transfer to another large bowl after each batch.
- Add onion and tomato paste to drippings in skillet. Reduce heat to medium and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato and chickpea mixture with chicken stock. 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 to thicken sauce enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Serve: Transfer to serving bowl, sprinkle with cilantro.
Assembly or Serving ideas
- If desired, this can be slow-cooked a day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover ad keep chilled. Rewarm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Serve over cooked bulgur or couscous, with slivered almonds, chopped chives, mint and cilantro sprinkled on top.
- Group Recipes: Moroccan Slow Cooked Lamb (grouprecipes.com/3342/moroccan-slow-cooked-lamb.html)