One-Pot Wonders

Moroccan Style Lamb

January 30, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 4 - 6
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

Test Kitchen Notes

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&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jan Sedaka
    Jan Sedaka
  • nycnomad
  • healthierkitchen
  • edamame2003
  • Pat E. in SLO
    Pat E. in SLO

38 Reviews

Jan S. December 7, 2017
I've made a similar dish with lamb neck, which is meaty and adds to the sauce the richness of its bones.
nycnomad September 28, 2015
I made this yesterday for dinner, swapped out the onions and garlic for chopped tomatoes and a few sun dried tomatoes, due to an allergy, added some left over cold pressed apple juice (about 1 C) and lord have mercy it was spectacular! Thank you for sharing :)
GleeAnn D. October 16, 2013
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.
healthierkitchen October 23, 2013
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!
healthierkitchen May 31, 2012
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!
Dearinger March 7, 2012
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!
buttermilk March 3, 2012
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!
melissa H. January 9, 2012
Not a fan of lamb....has anyone tried this with beef cubes? The rest of the recipe sounds fantastic!
irinaleibo October 22, 2011
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!
GSmodden July 31, 2011
This turned out well. I served it with a little harissa on the side. Let overs were even better.
healthierkitchen August 8, 2011
So glad to hear you liked this!
kikimama March 27, 2011
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!
healthierkitchen March 28, 2011
Thanks kikimama. Will have to try tomato!
edamame2003 February 26, 2011
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.
healthierkitchen February 27, 2011
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!
Oceras February 21, 2011
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.
healthierkitchen February 22, 2011
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.
Pat E. February 21, 2011
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.
healthierkitchen February 22, 2011
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.
Pat E. February 22, 2011
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.
healthierkitchen February 22, 2011
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.
drbabs February 18, 2011
WOW--I'm just seeing this--congratulations on being a finalist!
healthierkitchen February 17, 2011
Wow! I need to take deep breaths!

Thanks for all the nice comments - hope all who try this out like it!
Midge February 17, 2011
Oh wow, sounds right up my alley. Congrats healthierkitchen!
student E. February 17, 2011
Yum! Have you tried this in a slow cooker before? I might attempt that over the weekend...
healthierkitchen February 17, 2011
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?
cheese1227 February 17, 2011
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!
healthierkitchen February 17, 2011
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!
fiveandspice February 17, 2011
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.
wanderash February 17, 2011
Congrats healthierkitchen! I loooooooooooove lamb and this looks great! I can't wait to try it.