Monday, September 13, 2010

Dutch Oven Moroccan Lamb Stew

I went to the Lodge Cookware factory outlet in Sevierville, Tennessee over the weekend and purchased several new pieces of cast iron cook ware at a great price. I've been dying to try one of them out so I put this dish together in my new 10-quart dutch oven.

1 Bone-in lamb shoulder
2 cans of low-sodium chicken broth
1 can diced tomato
1 can chick peas
1 onion diced
1 cup sliced carrot
2 stalks chopped celery
1 cup diced dried apricots
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
6 cloves crushed garlic
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp Garam Marsala (cinnamon, cumin, coriander, black pepper, cloves, cardamon).
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne

Preparing the Lamb:
Because I was using a bone-in lamb shoulder I pre-cooked it, so that I could easily separate the bone, fat, and connecting tissue from the meat.
Salt and pepper the lamb shoulder and brown it all sides in a 10" cast iron dutch oven in 3 tbs. of olive oil.
When it's browned, pour one of the cans of the chicken broth over it, put on the lid, and bake at a low heat (around 300F) for 4 hrs.
After 4 hrs. the lamb was cooked and the chicken broth was mostly evaporated. I put the lamb in a dish and placed it in the refrigerator for a few hours. When I was ready to use the meat, it was easily separated. I cut it into bite-sized pieces.

Cooking the Stew
To start, scrape most of the lamb fat out of the bottom of the dutch oven (up to you), but try to leave some of the good drippings for taste.
Add a little olive oil and brown the onion.
Pour in 1 can of chicken broth.
Add carrots, celery, canned tomatoes, garlic, and dry spices. Spices should be used to taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer.
Add meat and apricots.
Simmer for one to one and half hours until carrots are tender.
(I did have to add 1 cup of hot water before it was through)
Serve over cous-cous.

First of all, I must say that I don't know anything about Moroccan food. I'm really just a dude with a couple of Dutch ovens and a penchant for cast-iron cooking. I do like Indian food and this dish has curry and Bengali spices in it, so maybe it should be called Bengali Lamb Stew. I don't know about that, but I do know that this dish is spicy, exotic, and scrumptious. I can definitely see myself lounging around on big pillows with hookah pipes and belly dancers while eating it. It's good stuff, maybe one of the better things I've cooked in a while. Black Betty thinks so too!

I was inspired by a Moroccan Chicken Recipe that was posted by Cliffmeister2000 at the wonderful and informative camp cook forum:
Bob appetit y'all!