Moroccan Style Lamb

By • January 30, 2010 • 36 Comments

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Author Notes: This was an attempt to come up with a long cooked taste on a busy weeknight. Jamison Lamb from Pennsylvania sells at my local farmstand and their shoulder meat (from happy grass fed sheep) is precut into chunks perfect for this dish. - healthierkitchen healthierkitchen

Food52 Review: Lighter and more brothy than what we typically imagine when we think of lamb stew, healthierkitchen's one-pot dish packs a lot of flavor without being a rib-sticker. The butternut squash soaks up the spiced broth and is a subtle counterpoint to the rich, meaty lamb and sweet, tender prunes. The spice mixture brings the lamb to life (make sure to go for a nicely marbled shoulder), and the lemon zest and green olives lift the dish with bright hits of acidity. We cooked our lamb for a little longer than 30 minutes, until it was nice and tender -- the squash started to break down, which we didn't mind, but if you prefer the chunks whole, just cut them a little bigger. - A&MA&M

Serves 4 - 6

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon raz el hanout (optional - some of the flavors duplicate what's in here, so don't worry about leaving it out if you don't have it)
  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups homemade or low or no sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup pitted prunes, halved if large
  • 2 cups cubed butternut or acorn squash
  • 1/2 cup Spanish green olives, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, about one lemon (if you have preserved lemon, you can use the skin of 1/2, rinsed and minced)
  • 3 teaspoons chopped parsley
  1. Combine the salt, pepper and other spices in a large bow. Add the lamb pieces and toss to coat.
  2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and brown the lamb chunks in batches, using additional oil as needed. Remove the lamb chunks to a plate as cooked. Remove some of the fat from the pan if a lot has rendered, leaving only a light coating.
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic, cooking until the onion has softened and become translucent, about 4 or 5 minutes.
  4. Add the stock to the pan and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of pan.
  5. Return the lamb to the pan, along with any juices, and add the prunes, squash, olives and lemon zest.
  6. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, partly covered, for 30 to 45 minutes, until the lamb is tender.
  7. Taste for salt and pepper and garnish with the parsley. Serve with whole wheat couscous.
Jump to Comments (36)

Tags: Jennifer Steinhauer, Jenny, Jenny's in the Kitchen, jestei

Comments (36) Questions (1)

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about 1 year ago GleeAnn Davis

Here it is 4 years later and I'm just now reading this! Going to prepare it this weekend and will use my slow cooker or in oven in iron pot, covered on low for several hours. Can't wait for the fragrant kitchen.

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about 1 year ago healthierkitchen

Hi GleeAnn! Hope you like it! If you're going to do a long cook, you might hold off on adding the prunes and squash until the last hour and cut the squash into bigger chunks as A & M recommend above! Bon appetite!

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over 2 years ago healthierkitchen

Many thanks to those of you who have commented in the last few months - I really appreciate the feedback. Just a quick update from my kitchen. I made this last night with bone-in, skinless chicken thighs and used the same method and it worked really well. I also used Japanese yams instead of butternut squash as they were available this time of year, and I added a cut up zucchini for the last five or so minutes of cooking time. Springtime version!

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over 2 years ago Dearinger

I have been cooking for over 43 years and this is the best dish I have ever made. The flavor is outstanding!
I cooked the lamb for 90 minutes before adding the squash - keeping the squash firmer and the lamb more tender. Butternut holds up better than acorn squash.
If I want to please meat eaters this is what I will serve!

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over 2 years ago buttermilk

I loved this recipe! I had some lamb chops in my freezer and this was a perfect way to use them. I also mixed in chicken breasts because I didn't have enough lamb. The chicken dried out a touch, but was still delicious. I also didn't read the recipe correctly and forgot to dredge the lamb in the spices before searing. I ended up adding all the spices in with the chicken stock. It turned out fine. Next time, I would use chicken thighs to maintain the moisture. Thanks for a great recipe! Yum!

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almost 3 years ago melissa holland

Not a fan of lamb....has anyone tried this with beef cubes? The rest of the recipe sounds fantastic!

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about 3 years ago irinaleibo

I make a really strange version of Chicken Marbella that is similar to this, without the squash.
I use Ras el Hanout and dates and olives.
Have to try this version!
Cheers
irina

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about 3 years ago GSmodden

This turned out well. I served it with a little harissa on the side. Let overs were even better.

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

So glad to hear you liked this!

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over 3 years ago kikimama

dee-licious. halved the recipe, followed it as written with one exception: added a really ripe, seeded and juiced tomato. cooked the lamb longer since i was on the phone, but that made the stew even more tender. served over plain quinoa. so fragrant and satisfying. thanks for a great recipe!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks kikimama. Will have to try tomato!

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over 3 years ago edamame2003

words cannot describe. i made this tonight for dinner and really...I've never tasted anything like it. i substituted goat, dried apricots, preserved lemons and kind of made my own raz el honout. every ingredient blends perfectly together. thank you for a new flavor that I will be making over and over.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Those substitutions sound great! I love goat but have never cooked it - I'll have to keep my eyes open for some and try it out. Thanks for letting me know!

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over 3 years ago Oceras

This sounds like a super recipe, except perhaps for the butternut squash. I think it would add too much sweetness to the dish. (not a great fan of sweet) Also, that long a cooking time can turn the squash quite mushy. I would add the squash about 15 minutes before the dish is done.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks for the comment! You could easily leave out the butternut squash and/or add it in later. This is just how it evolved for my family's taste. I've done it with chickpeas as well. You could also sub in another squash such as acorn.

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over 3 years ago Pat in SoCal

This is cooking away on my stove right now. I actually followed the recipe almost exactly (not like me) except since I was just doing a half recipe I am using my tagine. It just seemed right and I rarely get to use it. I had some preserved lemons I put up last year so I used that option...and since I don't have a clue what "raz el hanout" is I left that out. Other than that it's right on the mark. It looks gorgeous and smells wonderful. The tagine seared the meat beautifully and was just the right size. I'll post again once we eat it...but so far it's looking good.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks for trying this, Pat in SoCal! Hope it worked out for you. Raz el hanout is a Moroccan spice blend that like curry powder or chili powder, can be different depending on who's made it. I know the one I have has some clove and anise because I can smell those, but according to the Food Lover's Companion, these blends can include ginger, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, dried flowers, nigella, mace, galangal and turmeric.

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over 3 years ago Pat in SoCal

It was really wonderful! A final squeeze of fresh lemon just before serving brightened the flavor. Not another addition was needed. Much enjoyed by all! Thanks again. I posted a picture because it was just so pretty.

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

I'm so glad you liked it! And thanks for posting the lovely photo, too. I'm glad to know that the recipe works well in a tagine - I've never cooked in one.

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over 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

WOW--I'm just seeing this--congratulations on being a finalist!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Wow! I need to take deep breaths!

Thanks for all the nice comments - hope all who try this out like it!

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over 3 years ago Midge

Oh wow, sounds right up my alley. Congrats healthierkitchen!

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over 3 years ago student epicure

Yum! Have you tried this in a slow cooker before? I might attempt that over the weekend...

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Thanks studentepicure! I haven't tried it in a slow cooker because mine is older and you can't brown in the pot, so once I've got a pot going for that step, I just figure I'll keep going on the stove. I would probably keep it on low and maybe add the squash and prunes later if you can. It's actually been so long since I used mine I can't remember - can you open it part way and add some ingredients later?

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

Way to go Wendy!!! My daughter saw the picture and said "Oh Mommy. Can you make that tonight?" Bit of a short notice and have a deadline in the way, so it will have to wait for the weekend. But it will get made here in Carlisle. Good luck in the voting!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

This picture is waaaay better than mine was. It took me a few seconds to realize it was my dish! Hope your daughter (and the rest of you) like it!

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Mmmmm this looks so yummy! I love Moroccan flavors with butternut squash and I looove lamb stew, so I can't wait to give it a try.

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over 3 years ago wanderash

Congrats healthierkitchen! I loooooooooooove lamb and this looks great! I can't wait to try it.

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Congrats, hk! This sounds really great. And easy!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations healthierkitchen!! Thrilled this is a finalist.