This stew is a wonderful blend of hot and sweet. It would be tasty with Arroz Verde (Green Rice), cous cous or basmati rice. Great for a dinner party.
Spicy Lamb Stew Recipe
This recipe, adapted from one in the Niman Ranch Cookbook, is actually billed as a tagine, a savory Moroccan stew. Tagines also refer to the earthenware cooking and serving dishes for the stew, which are conical in shape and with an air vent at the top to assist with slow, even cooking. Brown the meat and vegetables first, and then let everything slow cook in the tagine. Slow cooking, at a low, even temperature is important for the lamb shoulder to become tender
2-3 lbs of lamb shoulder stew meat, cut into 11⁄2-inch cubes
3/4 cup white wine
2 yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 dry pasilla chiles, chopped, stems and most seeds removed
1 Tbsp hot Hungarian paprika*
11⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of ground cardamon
11⁄2 cups chicken stock
14 oz of canned (or fresh) whole tomatoes, put through a food mill, or puréed**
8-10 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley
4-5 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup currants
Salt and pepper
* Hot Hungarian paprika is not the regular Hungarian paprika which is sweet and mild. If you don't have access to hot paprika, I would advise substituting 1/2 with sweet paprika and 1/2 with chili powder.
1. Pat the lamb dry with a paper towel. Drying the lamb this way first will help the lamb pieces brown. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy, high-sided skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the lamb pieces in batches, being careful not to crowd them. Cook, turning as needed so that the lamb pieces brown evenly on all sides, for 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a bowel. Pour off excess oil over the lamb.
2. Return skillet to medium hight heat. Add wine to skillet and stir with a spatula to release any meat bits that have stuck to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes and pour over the lamb.
3. Return the skillet to medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cover and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the bell pepper and pasilla chiles and cook uncovered for 20 minutes until tender.
4. Make a bouquet garni by placing the parley, thyme and bay leaf in the center of a doubled over cheesecloth square. Gather the ends and secure with kitchen string. Set aside.
5. Stir in the paprika, cumin, and cardamom and cook for a minute. Add the puréed (or cooked tomatoes put through a food mill) tomatoes, lamb, chicken stock, raisins, currants, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil over high heat, decrease heat to low. Cook, partially covered, for about 3 hours, or until lamb is tender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.