Moroccan Lamb with Apricots, Almond and Mint

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I developed a passion for cooking and baking last year. I’m the type of person who doesn’t give up easily so I like to try out recipes that intrigue me and if they don’t work out I insist on trying until I succeed. In my opinion, cooking is mostly practice and understanding ingredients and their textures and flavours. When you appreciate and grasp the smell and taste of fruits, chocolates, herbs, spices and et cetera you can create just about anything. However, as cheesy as this may sound the most important ingredients of all are passion, love and sincerity. That is how you make good tasting food taste GREAT. Think of it as your own special ingredient.

Today I tried a dish called Moroccan Lamb with Apricots, Almonds and Mint. I found the recipe here. I did a few things differently to save time and adjust the consistency. I didn’t make the couscous as the dish can be eaten with rice as well. It can also easily satisfy 4-5 people.






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Ingredients:

2 tbsp olive oil
500-600g lean lamb, cubed
1 onion , chopped
2 garlic cloves , crushed
700ml chicken stock
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp clear honey
175g ready-to-eat dried apricots
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
30-50g ground almonds
25g flaked almonds
salt and pepper

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole or pot. Add the lamb and cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes until evenly browned, stirring often. Remove the lamb to a plate, using a slotted spoon.

2. Stir the onion and garlic into the casserole and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened. Return the lamb to the pot. Add the stock, zest and juice, cinnamon, honey and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 30 minutes.

3. Add the apricots and two-thirds of the mint and cook for 30 - 45 minutes until the lamb is tender. Stir in the ground almonds to thicken the sauce.

4. This dish tastes better after 2-3 hours so I recommend making it a few hours earlier before serving as it allows the lamb to absorb the different flavours of the other ingredients. Sprinkle the remaining mint and almonds over the top just before you serve.

5. Mint tea is the perfect seal to this dish!

I had for it dinner and it was very filling. The gravy had a slight sweetness and it was creamy because of the ground almonds. It’s perfect for winter. All in all, a very simple and hearty dish! It takes a while but it’s worth it. Before I forget, Eid Mubarak to all the Muslims out there! Have a happy and blessed Eid-ul-Adha everyone! =)

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