March 29, 2010

Morocco Had a Little Lamb

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!

colesie March 29, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Love all of the Moroccan dishes!!! And I am leaving for Moroccco in less than 3 weeks so I am having fun getting in the mood.


sodium girl March 29, 2010 at 2:59 pm

So excited for you and your trip. Keep me posted on all the goodies that you eat!

AP March 30, 2010 at 10:05 am

I am having flashbacks to our meal, that lamb, the pita and the tagine. Can’t wait for the next one!

Karen February 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

This looks absolutely amazing! I’ve been looking for a good lamb/orange juice combo recipe, and I am definitely going to give this one a try. Thank you for sharing!

sodium girl February 25, 2011 at 8:12 am

Thanks Karen, let me know how it goes!

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