Moroccan Lamb Stew

Tagine Bar-Bar

Al and Barbara Garvey are adventuresome cooks and travelers. Once we turned them on to the unglazed clay pot, they came up with adaptations of recipes they brought back from Morocco.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup butter (½ stick)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 pounds boneless shoulder of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • cups water
  • 1 pound pitted prunes, soaked if too dry
  • 4 small zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • ¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander, or 2 teaspoons dried coriander
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 4 tart apples
  • ½ to 1 cup whole blanched almonds

Method

Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil; add teaspoons of the salt, the pepper, turmeric, ginger, an ¾ teaspoon cinnamon.

Brown the lamb and chopped onion in this mixture, then transfer to the pot, along with cups water.

Place the covered pot in a cold oven.

Set temperature at 480 degrees.

Cook for 35 minutes, remove from the oven and add the pitted prunes and the zucchini. Sprinkle with the parsley, coriander, thyme, oregano, the remaining salt and 3 tablespoons of the honey. Cover the pot and return to the oven.

Cook an additional 15 minutes, then check to see if the lamb is done; if not, cook an additional 10 minutes. (Total cooking time: 50 to 60 minutes.)

Meanwhile, core the apples and cut into squares. Saute the apples and almonds in the remaining butter, along with the remaining honey and a pinch of cinnamon, until the apples are soft, but still slightly firm.

To serve, top the stew with sauteed apples and almonds.

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