Monday, 11 November 2013

Culinary Arts II-Week 7: Moroccan Lamb Stew!

As I mentioned before in my previous blog posts, lamb is not really my go-to meat to cook because of its distinct gamey taste that I am not fond of. However, in this week's recipe, we prepared Lamb Maroc, a.k.a., the Moroccan lamb stew, which has quickly become one of my favourite lamb recipes. The different layers of flavours like savoury, sweet, sour, and spicy all blend in together in a harmonic manner, and they manage to mask the gamey taste of lamb very well. I am not very familiar with Moroccan food, but to me, this dish shares some basic tastes with Indian curry, probably because of the Moroccan spices used, Ras el Hanout, which contains equal parts of nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, ginger, clove, coriander, pepper, saffron, and turmeric. If you are worried about the gamey taste in lamb and reluctant to cook it, give this recipe a try, you'd be pleasantly surprised! 

1 kg lamb shoulder meat, chopped
3 oz olive oil
3 oz butter
60 g ginger
2 tsp Ras el Hanout
650 mL chicken stock, warmed up
1 piece of onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 piece of cinnamon stick, broken into 2 halves
1 cup of raisins
1 cup of almonds (toasted at 300F until turned golden brown)
1/4 cup of honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1 lemon, juice squeezed
salt/pepper to taste

1. Take a pan, heat the oil, sear the chopped lamb at high heat until browned, remove from the pan
2. Drain the fat from pan and add melted butter, sweat the chopped onion at medium heat until golden brown (takes about 15min)  
3. Add the cinnamon sticks, spices, and ginger, sweat for a minute
4. Stir in raisins, and add warm chicken stock to the pot
5. Add the meat back into the pot, stir well and simmer for 30min
6. Add the toasted almonds, honey, and lemon juice, simmer for another 20min
7. Stir constantly to make sure that the honey doesn't get burned at the bottom of the pot
8. Garnish the dish with chopped cilantro right before serving
* this dish goes really well with cumin-flavoured rice! 

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