Special Night Moroccan Lamb Stew
This is a stew that will always remind me of special nights and special people. It is definitely a crowd pleaser and can turn even an ordinary evening into something memorable.
I used to hang out with an international crowd. We all enjoyed cooking and would gather at each other’s houses to share food, stories, and lots of laughs.
Years ago we gathered for an occasion that was fun and festive with these great people. The main dish was exotic and delicious. The entrée was an amazing Moroccan lamb stew.
That may not sound exotic to all of you, but to this girl from West Virginia, it was! I hadn’t eaten much lamb at all and at that time even the spices seemed mysterious.
Part of the magic of a great meal is the memories of sharing it with people. Eating, telling stories, and laughing together are the main ingredients of a special night.
This week, I wanted to make something special to share with my family when we gathered to watch our home state football team play on TV. I remembered that recipe from long ago and actually located it. It required the lamb to marinate for a few hours so I got that started. I had most of the ingredients on hand but a quick trip to the store filled in the gaps.
All in all, it was fairly easy to make and I was really pleased with how it turned out.
And even though the friend that shared the recipe is half a world away, I will always remember her and that fantastic evening because of her recipe.
Here’s what you need to make Special Night Moroccan Lamb Stew.
2.5 lbs. lamb in ½” dice
Marinate the lamb for at least two hours. I put the lamb and the marinade ingredients in a 1 gallon plastic storage bag and refrigerate until I’m ready to start cooking. Plan to begin cooking a couple of hours before you want to serve.
- 2 TB ground coriander
- 1 TB ground cumin
- 1 tsp. heaped fennel seeds
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
- 1 inch piece of ginger minced
- 1 large sprig of rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large sweet potato (I used 4 small ones)
- 2 red onions
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups of chicken stock
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- Handful of dried apricots
- 1 stick of cinnamon
Chop up vegetables that you want in the dish. You can use any vegetable you like but choose sturdy root vegetables that will stand up to long baking in the oven.
In a heavy based pan, brown the meat on all sides and remove it from the skillet to a plate. Once the meat is browned and removed, add the vegetables to the pan and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes and about 2 cups of chicken stock. Add the meat and juices back into the pan, mix it together and add 1 stick of cinnamon, 2 bay leaves, and a handful of dried apricots into the dish. Cover and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove the lid and bake further for 40 minutes.
Sprinkle with pine nuts and fresh cilantro. Serve with natural yogurt.
Seriously, this stew makes people happy!
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