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Moroccan lamb with local winter squash and mustard greens

moroccan lamb

In general, I am an avid vegetable eater, more apt to order a veggie burger than the lamb chops or hambuger. Yet, I  gained a serious appreciation for lamb while I was Morocco. Specifically, it was a prune and lamb tagine in a small cafe in Tangiers that took me by serious surprise. Since then, I’ve made some rendition of the dish for ever person I’ve truly loved (and has caught me at the right time).

I love this recipe for Moroccan lamb because it is flexible. Instead of raisins, you may use prunes, dates, or experiment with figs. If you like a slightly sweeter sauce you can add even more of the dried fruit.  To make this recipe gluten-free you could use potatoes or tapioca starch to thicken the stew. It is an excellent main dish served with rice, flat bread, potatoes, or like I did, squash and greens.

Tropical “winter” squash grows great here in Hawaii. The best way to get seeds to grow them is to buy a few squashes from local markets and find the ones you like the best. Then either plant the seeds fresh or clean the pulp from them and dry for storage. Mustard greens also do great in the Hawaiian climate. You can simply buy mustard seeds from your Indian grocer (or online, etc.) and scatter them on the soil.  In a short time you will have tender mustard greens for your culinary enjoyment.

Recipe for Moroccan Lamb

Ingredients for the lamb:

(in order of entry)

  • 1 small onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  •  Piece of fresh ginger (1 -2 inches)
  • 1-2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 and ½ cup water
  • 8 lamb chops
  • 1 two inch piece of cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • salt
  • pepper
  • tablespoon or two flour or other thickening agent

Steps for the lamb:

  1. defrost lamb
  2. heat olive oil set to medium-high and sauté onions for 5 minutes
  3. reduce to medium and add garlic 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  4. add paprika, ginger, cumin and stir until aromatic
  5. add lamb, salt and pepper and allow to brown, turning every few minutes (about 10 minutes total)
  6. next, add water, tomato paste, cinnamon stick, raisins and stir
  7. bring to a simmer
  8. reduce to a slow simmer 1 and ½ hours to 2 hours.
  9. If there is still a lot of water – take out a ladle-full of the “broth” and mix it in a bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of flour until uniform in consistency. Pour back into the pot with the lamb and allow to simmer at least 5 minutes later. check consistency and repeat if needed.
  10. Serve with yummy sides

 

Recipes for the sides:

Winter squash

  • two cups cooked winter squash
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil
  • salt to taste

mix together and heat in small pan

Mustard Greens

  • 3 cups washed and chopped mustard greens (ok to have water dripping)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps: Sauté all together and continue to cook up to 10 minutes as long as there is enough oil or water.

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Moroccan lamb with local winter squash and mustard greens

  1. Yum! this looks my sort of dinner. I’m going to try it. did you ever try the version with prunes? – what did that taste like, sounds interesting.

    1. the first time i had it in Morocco was with prunes, in my opinion much deeper sweet flavor than raisins or dates, both of which are still good. Adam wanted me to use figs once but I think they have too many seeds : )

  2. Ellie sent me a pointer over here and this does sound delicious! I think I’ll try it with the prunes. That’s how I remember it in Morocco as well. I also want to try your Shepherd’s pie. Yay, it’s GF!

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