This recipe is perfect for making ahead, which makes it a great idea for a dinner party. The more you can be with your guests, the happier a hostess you’ll be.
Spiced Lamb Stew with Almonds and Apricots
- 3 lbs. lamb shoulder or neck, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 ½ inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1 ½ cup almonds
- ¼ cup honey (preferably dark)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup carrots, peeled, cut in ½-inch thick slices
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped.
- In a bowl combine the ginger, pepper, Cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom, coriander, nutmeg, cloves and water and mix well. Add the meat and rub in the paste, coating evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- In a Dutch oven or other heavy, lidded pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and cinnamon sticks and cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant.
- Add the marinated meat to the pot and then the chicken stock to cover the meat. Bring the stock to a boil, and skim off any scum that appears.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring from time to time. Add water if the pot becomes too dry. Stew until the meat is tender, about 1 ½ hours.
- Add the apricots, almonds, honey, carrots, and ground cinnamon and simmer, covered, stirring often to prevent scorching, until the meat is very soft and almost falling apart, about 30 minutes longer. (If it is too soupy, uncover and simmer to reduce the sauce to a syrupy glaze.) Note: this recipe can be prepared in advance up to this point. Allow to cool, refrigerate and serve within a couple of days.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately with couscous, rice or potatoes.
Yield: 10 servings