Inhaling the aroma of this Moroccan lamb stew will make you drool. The mediterranean flavors developed in this dish made me wish I had bought the whole leg of lamb. It’s aromatic, delicious and savory with a hint of sweet from the apricots (if you choose to add it).
If you follow me on Instagram you know I’ve been pushing the envelope with the foods I’m making. I want the blog to be more reflect of the dishes I love from all around the world. I’ve been working on several dishes to get them just right. I’ve had many more hours in the kitchen with my friends from Latin America than I have with those from Egypt. I always want to make my friends proud and represent their heritage and culture properly. Of course, the only way to do that is to actually make the food.
So I’ve been diving in to North African food. What’s interesting is that whether it’s Morocco, Egypt or Lebanon there are similar spices and flavors. As for lamb, I’ve been eating lamb forever. My mother would take me to all different types of Mediterranean restaurants to eat. Many times I had no idea what I was eating. I just knew it tasted good. When I finally found out what lamb was, I was already hooked.What ever way you choose to introduce this dish is your family and/or friends is your choice. At our table there’s no discussion since everyone has eaten lamb before.
This dish was inspired by Caroline Hofberg’s lamb stew dish from “Morocco on a Plate” and dinning at Berbas restaurant NYC. As I’ve stated, in the past I’ve always been hesitant to mix savory and sweet but the apricots suggested by Hofberg perfectly compliment the lamb. If this is your first time experimenting you might not want to add apricots but I’ll encourage you to try it you can always remove it if you don’t like it.
Note: This is my version of a combination of the above dishes. The changes made reflect my cost consciousness and that I try to be thoughtful about what my family eats. I purchased semi boned lamb and used the bones to make lamb stock. I also did not use saffron since I don’t keep saffron in my house. You know I’m all about using what’s already here. In the end the flavor of saffron it so slight I don’t think it made a huge difference in the flavor.
Moroccan Lamb Stew
Makes 6 servings
- 2 pounds of lamb shoulder ( 1-2 in chunks)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 celery stalks chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of grated ginger
- 2 cups of lamb broth (beef bouillon with 2 cups of water)
- 1 tablespoon of lemon
- 5 ounces of dried apricots
- salt and pepper to taste
- almonds (garnish)
- cilantro (garnish)
- harissa hot chili pepper paste (garnish)
Take chunks of lamb and season with sea salt and pepper.
In a heavy pot add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown lamb. This should take approximately 3 mins. (remove lamb from pot).
Add another table spoon of olive oil, diced onions, celery and garlic. Cook until soft.
Add spices and cinnamon stick.
Return meat to pot, then add stock (or beef bouillon and water.
Stir well then cover and allow to cook over medium low heat for about an hour.
In a bowl cover dried apricots with hot water and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
Drain apricots and add to stew. Stir and continue to cook for an additional 20 minutes.
The meat will be tender and the apricots will be soft.
Season with lemon juice and salt.
I served this dish over pearl couscous cooked in chicken broth.
We had our Moroccan Lamb Stew with cilantro and toasted almonds. Hubby was the only one to dive into the spicy harissa. He said it added another delicious layer of flavor.
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