Let’s kick off this week with a simple dish that features one of Spring’s finest cuts of meat: lamb.
As an “appetizer” for our Moroccan Feast, we decided to begin with something light. Which in my world translates into a lamb stew cooked in orange juice, mint, and a bevy of other spices. Served, of course, with a cool cucumber and yogurt salad. It’s a palette cleanser fit for vikings.
The trick, to making the lamb as succulent as it sounds, lies in two key steps: (1) marination and (2) slow cooking. So this recipe does take patience, but little technical skill. Oh, and you probably want to use a stove-top safe crock pot or a slow cooker. But if you don’t have either of these implements, a covered, tall pot will do (just keep an eye out for the stew burning at the bottom).
Enjoy this mild taste of Morocco today, because things are about to get a whole lot spicier tomorrow. Chow on.
- 1 ½ pounds of lean lamb, cubed
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- juice from 1 orange
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sodium free beef broth
- tablespoon of black pepper
1. In a large non-metallic dish (like your crock pot), mix the lamb with the garlic, orange juice, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, broth, herbs, and spices. Cover and let marinate for at least 3 hours. Best if allowed to marinate overnight. The longer it soaks, the deeper the flavor.
2. When you are ready to get cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
3. Using tongs or a fork, grab the pieces of lamb from the marinade and brown them for 5 minutes each.
4. Place lamb back in crock pot and bring to a boil on stove over medium-high heat.
5. Once the stew begins boiling, lower heat and cover.
6. Allow the stew to simmer for an hour and a half. It is ready when the meat is juicy yet tender.
7. If you have the time, make a gravy from the stewing juices: place juices in a pot over high heat. Allow to boil and then lower to a strong simmer. The juice will thicken as it reduces – probably around 5 or 10 minutes of boiling. You can also thicken with some cornstarch or flour – just remember to mix a little bit of the juice with the cornstarch or flour before adding to the entire pot – this step will keep it from becoming clumpy. To serve, drizzle gravy over the lamb. Hello Flavor!