Monday, January 23, 2012

Last weekend I worked. This weekend I didn't! I slept late,  I watched TV , ordered my peppers and tomatoes from an untested source and went hunting for lamb. I had so much time to not work, I could plan and prepare for a meal my only prior exposure to was reading about in a magazine (Real Simple)

KNowing I was in the market for lamb I tried to think like a wolf. 

They don't let wolves into grocery stores. They also do not let lambs into my grocery store so I had to move upmarket. Way upmarket. Covered parking up market, I'm pretty sure that the reason I couldn't find the shopping carts was because instead there are people who carry your food around for you, that kind of upmarket market. It was so thoroughly upmarket they had lamb, not the lamb I was upmarket marketing for, but close enough. I have a boning knife for a reason.

My inner wolf and I brought my kill home and got to work.  Pork shoulder is pork shoulder is pork shoulder. Its just a matter of who bones it and what bones you deal with. In this case I  took my handy fish boning knife and made my chops into chunks.

The recipe:

Lamb, Apricot and Olive tagine - AKA  pretty standard lamb stew with apricots and completely unnecessary olives and no potatoes.

1 1/2 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces or 1 1/2 lbs of lamb shoulder chops, chopped
4 carrots  cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup dried apricots halved
1/2 pitted green olives (not necessary)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika (not necessary)
1  teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup couscous (not necessary)

In a 4-6 quart slow cooker mix together the meat and vegetables and spices and flour. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook until lamb and veggies are tender, 7-8 hours on low, 4-5 on high. Ten minutes prior to serving, prepare the couscous.

I used store bought potaotes as my side. The stew was a lot sweeter than I had thought it would be, my guess is thanks to the carrots and apricots, I was afraid it would be too hot and I wouldn't enjoy it. It turned out to be delicious. Instead of adding water to the slow cooker per the instructions, I made broth from the  bones and used it instead, it was a little work but I think it made the dish better.

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