Saturday, October 08, 2011

Lamb with Dried Fruit & Almonds

Prep time: 15 minutes
Roasting time: 1½ hours

Serves 2

1 large onion, roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp canola oil
1 lb/450g lamb shoulder, cubed
¼ tsp saffron
¾ tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
Water to cover lamb plus 1 inch
1 cup seedless raisins
½ cup dried apricots, coarsely chopped
1-2 tbsp honey
½ cup blanched almonds
Garnish: fresh mint or cilantro leaves, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C

2. Place a large ovenproof Dutch oven (I love my Copco ceramic coated cast iron one) over medium high heat.  When hot, add the oil and onions (should be hot enough for the onions to sizzle) and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn.

3. Add the lamb cubes (patted dry) to the pot, trying for a single layer.  Toss with oil and onions and continue to sear until all sides are browned.  Add the saffron, ginger and cinnamon.  Toss and cook for 1 minute (just until fragrant).    Add enough water to cover the lamb by 1 inch.  

4. Bring to a boil, cover and put into the oven for 1 hour.   

5. Add the dried fruit, toss, recover and continue cooking for 15 minutes.

6.  In the meantime, in a small dry pan, toast the almonds (just takes 3-5 minutes)  watch closely so they don’t burn.   Add to the pot along with the honey.   If the “sauce” is too dry, add a little more water, but not much.  You want it to be thick, dark and clinging to the lamb.  Continue to cook for 10 minutes or so.

I love it served with Couscous Dishes like my Couscous with Currants, Barberries & Mint.  
Garnish with chopped fresh mint or cilantro leaves, chopped

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