Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Going Moroccan: Honey Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

A week ago I was over visiting my son at college. Naturally, I planned to cook. Since he'd recently tried Moroccan food for the first time and seemed to enjoy it, I decided to make honey lamb for him and some of his friends. They really liked it, and I plan to make it here at home sometime in the near future.

I started by reading "Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco" by Paula Wolfert to get some ideas. I combined several recipes and some riffs of my own to get the result:

Honey Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

1 leg of lamb, boned, trimmed of connective tissue and fat, cut into 1" cubes (reserve bones)
1 T ras al hanout (you can use curry powder, but this is more authentic and exotic)
1/2 t ground ginger
olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cinnamon sticks

8 oz dried apricots, quartered

3/4 c slivered almonds

lamb stock (made from reserved bones)

1 c honey
1 T cinnamon

In the morning, rub lamb cubes with ras al hanout, ginger, and garlic. Refrigerate for four or more hours. Use bones to make about 4 cups of lamb stock.

Brown lamb in batches in olive oil. Set meat aside, and cook onion and garlic until translucent. Add meat, cinnamon sticks, apricots, almonds, and lamb stock to barely cover. Bring to simmer, cook for 1 hour or until lamb is very tender, adding more stock if it gets too dry. Add honey and cinnamon and cook for another 30 minutes or until the sauce is very thick.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve over couscous.

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