Moroccan Lemon & Cumin Lamb and Vegetable Stew
Some of my very favourite ingredients include fresh cumin seeds, mint, harissa, garlic and tahini.
The weekend before last, I attended a class by the legendary Oded Schwartz on preserving lemons in the Moroccan style and after tasting a lamb potjie that he made, I knew I had to use these lemons (also purchased from Oded’s) in a lamb stew. In fact I made this stew that very day.
The lemons are chopped finely and during the cooking process, their bitterness disspiates and you’re left with a lip-smacking lemony flavour, an entirely different flavour dimension. I paired this with ground cumin and some chilli flakes for a bit of bite. The idea is to use whatever vegetables you have at hand, making this stew versatile and one you can vary and will not get bored with. This evening we made a similar stew, but with different vegetables, omitting the beans. The more vegetables you add, the more servings and mouths you will be able to feed. Naturally, adjust the volume of stock added.
Makes 6-8 servings
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 T olive oil
2 bay leaves
400 g stewing lamb pieces, dabbed dry with paper kitchen towels
1 heaped t ginger & garlic paste or 1 T Oded’s roast ginger & garlic paste
2 t ground cumin
1 t ground cinnamon
2 t chilli flakes (adjust according to preference)
2 T Liquid Lamb Fond ( I use NoMu; 500ml fresh stock may be subsituted)
500 ml water
4 large cloves garlic, slivered.
650 g vegetables cut into chunks (I used potatoes, sweet potato & carrot)
3 slices preserved lemons, chopped finely
handful mushrooms (optional)
400 g can barlotti beans, drained
salt, to taste
Preheat over on lowest rack to 180 degrees Celsius.
Fry onions in olive oil in large pot, on medium heat.
Add bay leaves and once the onions start to brown slightly, add the lamb, allowing to brown a touch.
Add cumin, cinnamon, ginger & garlic paste and chilli flakes and mix well.
Add root vegetables, garlic, lemon and fond mixed in water. Stir.
Check seasoning and add salt.
Increase heat and bring to boil.
Remove from stove. Cover top of pot with heavy duty foil, seal well and make a small gash in centre with a sharp knife.
Transfer to oven and cook for 1 hr 30 minutes.
Remove and add mushrooms and beans, if using. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Place back in oven for a further 25- 30 minutes, covered.
This will yield a stew with more of a soup consistency,
Should you prefer a thicker consistency, add 2 t cornflour to a tablespoon or two of water, mix to dissolve and add to stew. Cook for last 30 minutes uncovered.
Check seasoning before serving. This stew is carbohydrate dense, so there is no need to serve with bread or rice.
This post was picked up by the folks at NoMu (who make the lovely fonds) and was featured here.