Moroccan Lamb with Apricot
Delicious One pot cooking
This Moroccan style recipe is quite simple to make and gives a wonderful, exotic result.
Lamb is ideal for this recipe although other meat could be used, I prefer the lamb. Recently I have used goat, which was very good and probably a healthier choice.
North African Cuisine
Moroccan food is typically very spicy, and a fusion of Moorish, Mediterranean and European cooking. The fertile valleys and mild climate often described as being similar to Southern California’s is perfect for growing all manner of fruits and vegetables hence the abundant use of them in their cooking. Couscous made from small balls of durum wheat semolina, is probably the most famous dish of this area. They often use a tagine for their cooking; the clever design of this pot requires very little water to be used as its conical shape condenses the steam and returns it to the pot, very useful in a country that is part desert.
Towns such as Marrakesh, Tangier and of course Casa Blanca are synonymous with romance and intrigue, but they are also known for their markets, colourful busy places that sell wonderful spices and fresh food; dates and other fruits are in abundance. Lamb is the favourite meat although a great deal of beef is also eaten.
- Butterfly cut leg of lamb [any lamb will do.]
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 Tin of Apricots
- 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 25g fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 500g dried apricots
- A little pared zest and the juice of 1 lemon
- 1 – tablespoon of mint sauce.
- 2-4 tbsp honey
- 2 tablespoons of peeled almonds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Prepare the onions, ginger, and garlic.
- Mix the spices in a bowl ready to add.
- Rub the lamb with the paprika and lemon juice
- Leave the lamb in this mix for at least 3 hours.
- Heat a heavy pan and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
- On a gentle heat add spices and mix them into the oil.
- When they form a paste, add the onions, ginger, and garlic.
- Warning! Keep everything moving, or it will burn and taste bitter.
- Add tinned tomatoes and keep mixing.
- Transfer to Tagin or heavy stew pot. [pre warm your pot]
- Place your lamb onto the mix
- Cover with water and simmer for 2 hours
- Remove from oven and then …
- Add the apricots
- Add mint sauce
- Add almonds.
- Cook for another hour.
This is a dish that needs to be brought to the table in its cooking pot to have its fullest impact. The delicious smell and richness will add an extra element of enjoyment to the meal. You can serve it with vegetables e.g. potatoes, sweet potatoes, but I prefer flat bread, chapatti style unleavened bread.
Serve it on a bed of long grain rice and garnish with fresh mint.
© 2018 Tony Mead