Moroccan Inspired Lamb and Apricot Stew
This stew, with its subtle spices and comforting sweet potato which forms a thick sauce, is fantastic for a cold winter’s evening. The recipe is really simple and is designed for a pressure cooker so its quick to cook. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, the dish can easily be cooked in a casserole dish but will need about another hours worth of cooking. The apricots in the stew give it a lovely sweetness and I’ve tried to counter balance this with a slightly sour and fresh cous cous dish.
24 pieces or 500g of back chops of mutton or lamb
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
Salt and Pepper
1 red onion (peeled and roughly chopped)
5cm piece of ginger (peeled and finely chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
Small bunch of fresh coriander (leaves picked and stalks finely chopped)
1 red chilli (seeds left in and finely sliced)
2 sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes)
250g or 9oz dried apricots (roughly chopped)
A 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
Place the lamb or mutton into a large bowl. Grind the cumin and coriander with a pinch of salt and pepper to a powder. If you don’t have cumin and coriander seeds, feel free to use cumin and ground coriander powder and use two teaspoons of each. Sprinkle this spice mixture over the meat and mix.
Heat a splash of oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker and add the meat. Fry it until golden brown and then add in the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook for a further five minutes until the onions soften, stirring to prevent the spices from burning and turning down the heat if need be.
Add the chopped coriander stalks and half of the sliced chilli. Tip the sweet potatoes into the pot, together with the apricots, tomatoes and the water. Secure the lid, bring to the boil and turn down the heat, cooking at pressure for thirty to forty minutes or until the lamb is tender
Season the dish if required and serve with a dollop of yogurt with sliced chilli and coriander leaves on top, keeping back some coriander for the cous cous
1 onion (peeled and finely sliced)
250g or 9oz cous cous
50g or 2oz flaked almonds (gently toasted in a dry pan)
1 orange (roughly chopped)
Remaining coriander leaves
Spread the sliced onions over a plate and sprinkle with lime juice and some coarsely ground salt. Rub this into the onions and leave them to steep. This takes away the harshness from the onions and the lime juice acts as a nice counter balance to the sweet and spicy lamb
Cook the cous cous according to the packet instructions
Mix the onions, lime juice, half the almonds, the orange and half of the coriander into the cous cous. Taste it and add olive oil, lime juice and additional seasoning if required. The cous cous needs to taste fresh and slightly sour to cut through the sweetness of the dish.
Decorate the top of the cous cous with the remaining almonds and coriander. Serve with the lamb and enjoy.