A splendid meat and apricot dish which derives its name from the Arabic word for the fruit, mishmish. Lamb seems to have a special affinity for apricots, and a similar dish was a great favourite in our family.
From al-Baghdadi’s thirteenth-century cookery manual.
This is one of the dishes in which the meat is not fried before stewing. It may seem dull at first, but the apricot sauce thickened with the ground almonds gives it a particular richness which makes frying superfluous. The apricots must be of a sharp (not sweet) variety.
The stew requires about 2 hours of gentle cooking, preferably on an asbestos mat. Leave out the mastic and saffron if