Friday, March 31, 2017
Moroccan Crock Pot Lamb Stew
1. Send spousal unit to grocery store for ingredients. The smallest hunk of boneless lamb he can find is >4lbs, so he thoughtfully doubled the recipe: 2 boxes pearl couscous, 2 bags dried apricots, 2 bags pitted dates, 34oz carton of beef broth.
2. Chop lamb into 1" chunks. For 2 hours. Pass the time listening to back episodes of This American Life. Freeze half of the meat and half of the broth and save one box/bag of each of the other ingredients for next time.
3. Dredge meat in spices and brown in hot oil. I found I needed 4 times the amount of spice mixture for just half the meat--maybe next time I will merely flavor the lamb chunks instead of coating them, as the extra powder tended to burn in the oil after a while. For every 2lbs meat, the recipe calls for 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper (I used 3/4 tsp chili powder), 3/4 tsp turmeric (skipped), 3/4 tsp cinnamon (yum), 3/4 tsp ginger (whoops--I used garlic powder instead), 1/2 tsp salt. Put spices on next week's grocery list.
4. Add meat, chopped onion, 14oz beef broth, and some garlic after all in the crockpot. Set on high for 3.5-4.5 hours. Clean dining room and set table with good linens and china while the scent of cinnamon wafts from the kitchen.
5. Half an hour before dinner, mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp cold water and add to crockpot with 1 cup apricots, 1 cup dates, and a bunch of golden raisins for good measure.
6. Cook couscous (or rice) and toast almonds (if you remembered to get them from the store).
7. Serve one on top of the other. DH haven't decided what the appropriate side dish for this entree is; we've tried both green salad (pictured) and applesauce.
Unsolicited advice: later that weekend, we had some other friends over for a game night. One of them brought a marvelous malbec, which tasted much better than it looked in the cardboard box. It would have gone wonderfully with this meal.