Moroccan Lamb with Apricots and Almonds

This morning I am sitting at my desk writing this whilst looking out over another snow covered day in London. We were in Ealing last night as the snow started to fall. I was watching it from a little Cafe before venturing out to meet Hana. I took a few photos to capture the Snow as it fell but they didn’t come out as well as I had hoped. The ones I got this morning were much better.

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Anyway back to the kitchen. This is the last of my recipes which I think would make a very special dinner for a Valentines Day at home. So far the recipes I have recommended have been a bit light on meat. I tend to think that way these days as Hana and I mainly eat meals with Fish or a Meat replacement like Quorn or Tofu or sometimes have a full on Veggie feast. But now and then we do like to have some meat. As we don’t have it everyday its nice to make a bit of a fuss of it and do something special, something which is tasty, rich and flavourful just like this Moroccan inspired dish.

I cooked this for us a couple of nights ago and we both really liked it. In essence this is a stew or a casserole on the stove. I can’t say how little effort goes into making it but you will see when you try it out but sufficed to say it almost cooks itself! If your making a meal for Valentines day (or any other special occasion) you don’t want to spend half your time stuck in the kitchen running from one pot to another. With a dish like this you can do the initial stage and then pop it on the heat for an hour or so before finishing it off. That’s plenty of time to spend snuggled up with a glass of wine, a movie and your valentine.

When you return to the pot later you will see the most wonderfully spiced, fruity and tender Lamb you have tasted! It’s a really good dish to pull out for a dinner party as well because you can make it ahead of time. Though its sooo easy to do you will look like you have spent hours in the kitchen carefully crafting it.

Ingredients for 2 ,

2tbsp Olive Oil
500g Diced Lamb
1 Onion, roughly chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed and chopped
700ml Vegetable Stock
1 Orange, grated and zested
1tsp Clear Honey
1 Cinnamon Stick
1tsp Ground Connamon
1tsp Cumin
175g Dried Apricots
4tbsp Chopped Corrander
50g Ground Almonds

To serve,

Steamed Broccoli and either Couscous or Rice.

Recipe.

I used Lamb steaks which I diced myself as you get much more Lamb for your money. Dice into about 2cm cubes. Heat the Olive Oil in a large saucepan or Casserole pan. Add the Lamb and cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes stirring continually to brown. Remove the Lamb from the pan with a slotted spoon. Pop onto a plate with some Kitchen paper to drain some of the fat.

In the same pan add the chopped Onion and Garlic and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes to soften. Add the Lamb back to the pot. Pour in the Vegetable Stock, Orange Zest and Juice. Stir to mix then add the Cinnamon stick, ground Cinnamon and ground Cumin. Finally add the Honey. Once everything is mixed bring it to the boil and reduce to a gently rolling simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour.

Add the dried Apricots and half the Corriander. Cook for a further 30 minutes until the Lamb is tender and flakes easily. (If your serving it with rice this is a good time to start boiling it).

I ground my Almonds from Almond flakes by popping them in a bag and crushing with a rolling pin. Add the Almonds to the Casserole. This will thicken the sauce. Simmer for a few more minutes and serve. Sprinkle the rest of the Corriander over the Lamb on your plate as a garnish.

Enjoy!

(I know my posts can sometimes be a little soppy but I am a little soppy at heart!)

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