Friday, February 5, 2010

Lamb Tagine

We received lamb stew meat from our CSA. I have never cooked with lamb, so I was a little lost on this one. I like lamb, but only tend to order it at restaurants. I was excited for the challenge. Many ideas came to mind, maybe a stew, soup. But then I remembered I saw a lamb tagine recipe in my Cooks Illustrated Soups & Stews. Chris and I both love olives and couscous, so I was up for the challenge.

1 3 1/2 pound boneless shoulder roast, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium onions, slices into 1/2 inch slices
4 (2 inch long) lemon zest strips, 1/2 teaspoon grated zest and 1/4 cup juice
8 medium garlic cloves minced and 2 garlic cloves mashed to a paste
2 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons honey
6 carrots peeled and sliced
2 cups pitted greek olives, halved
1 cup dried apricots, chopped- a scissors works well.
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves

Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat to 350 degrees. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven or heavy pan until it begins to smoke. Add the meat and cook until brown about 7-10 minutes. Remove meat from the pan and set aside. Add another tablespoon oil to the pan and cook over medium heat. Add the onions, lemon zest strips, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until the onions are soft or about 5 minutes.

Stir in minced garlic, paprika, cumin, ginger, coriander, cinnamon and cayenne and cook until fragrant or about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook while stirring constantly until golden about 1 minute. Slowly pour in chicken broth, making sure to scrape up all the bits on the pan. Bring to a simmer. Add the browned meat and honey, bring back to a simmer and then cover and place in oven for 1 hour. After the hour add in the carrots and place back in the oven and cook for another hour or until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and stir in the olives and apricots, let sit covered for about 5 minutes.

Lastly, stir in cilantro, lemon juice, mashed garlic and grated lemon zest. and of course serve over couscous.