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Lamb marinated in a spice paste .

A wonderful lamb stew with chickpeas, Calimyrna figs and Israeli cous cous.


INGREDIENTS:  Serves 6 - 8

●  ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil

●  2 teaspoons ground coriander

●  1 teaspoon ground cumin

●  1 teaspoon ground paprika

●  Salt

●  Freshly ground black pepper

●  2½ – 3 pounds lamb shoulder or leg, cut in 2 inch chunks

●  1 large onion, chopped

●  1 large carrot, chopped

●  5 garlic cloves, chopped

●  1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

●  1   14 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes with juice

●  2 cups chicken stock

●  12 dried Calimyrna or Turkish figs, halved

●  1 cinnamon stick

●  2 teaspoons ras el hanout Ras el Hanout recipe.
●  1  14 ounce can chickpeas, drained

●  1 tablespoon brown sugar
●  Harissa or red chili paste

●  Fresh cilantro sprigs


1.  Combine ¼ cup olive oil, coriander, cumin, paprika, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper in
     a small bowl.  Mix to form a paste. Place lamb in a large bowl. Rub paste all over lamb. Let sit at
     room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate covered up to 24 hours.

2.  Preheat oven to 325° F.  

3.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or oven proof pot with lid over medium-high heat. Add
     lamb in batches and brown on all sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Transfer lamb to a
     plate or bowl.

4.  Add onion and carrot to the same pot. Saute, stirring up the brown bits, for 2 minutes. Add garlic
     and ginger and continue to saute 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, figs, cinnamon stick, ras el
     hanout, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.  

5.  Return lamb and any collected juices to the pot, submerging it in the stock. (Add additional chicken
     stock to cover, if necessary.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover pot. Transfer to
     oven and bake until lamb is falling apart tender, about 2 hours.

6.  Transfer pot to stove. Remove lamb and vegetables with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Bring
     stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil uncovered until sauce is reduced by about half and
     thickened, skimming fat.  Stir in chickpeas. Taste to check for seasoning. If necessary add a
     tablespoon of brown sugar to the stock.

     Return lamb and vegetables to pot. (May be prepared up to 24 hours in advance. Cover and

7.  To serve, skim any collected fat from surface. Rewarm over medium-low heat or in a 325° F. oven.

8.  Serve with prepared couscous. Pass bowls of harissa and fresh cilantro around the table as

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