In general, I am an avid vegetable eater, more apt to order a veggie burger than the lamb chops or hamburger. 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 every 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
- tablespoon or two flour or other thickening agent
Steps for the lamb:
- defrost lamb
- heat olive oil set to medium-high and sauté onions for 5 minutes
- reduce to medium and add garlic 2 minutes, stirring constantly
- add paprika, ginger, cumin and stir until aromatic
- add lamb, salt and pepper and allow to brown, turning every few minutes (about 10 minutes total)
- next, add water, tomato paste, cinnamon stick, raisins and stir
- bring to a simmer
- reduce to a slow simmer 1 and ½ hours to 2 hours.
- 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.
- Serve with yummy sides
Recipes for the sides:
- two cups cooked winter squash
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- salt to taste
mix together and heat in small pan
- 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.