Martinsville Bulletin, Inc.
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Martinsville, Virginia 24115
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Contributed by: Rick Galos
1 1/2 2 kg (about 3 lbs.) lamb, cut into 1?2-inch cubes
2 tsp. Ras El Hanout (African spice mix; see note)
2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 medium onions, grated
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups dark golden or sultana raisins (about 225 g)
1/2 cup honey, or to taste
1/2 cup blanched almonds (about 50 g)
2 cinnamon sticks
Note: Many sources say Ras El Hanout is made from 30 to 50 spices. Epicurious.com gives the following recipe for Ras El Hanout, to make about 2 TBS: Mix, using ground spices: 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. ginger, 1 tsp. salt, 3/4 tsp. pepper, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. ground coriander,1/2 tsp. cayenne, 1/2 tsp. allspice, 1/4 tsp. cloves.
At least several hours in advance, wash, drain and pat dry the meat. Mix the spices together and rub evenly over the meat. Cover and refrigerate until cooking time.
Mix the seasoned meat in a heavy-bottomed pot with the onions, garlic and butter. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to turn the meat as it browns. Add the water, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
Skim fat on the surface of the stew. Add the raisins, honey, almonds and cinnamon. If necessary, add additional water to just cover the raisins. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the raisins are plump and the sauce is reduced to a thick, syrup-like consistency.
(This recipe was contributed as part of a "Cook of the Week" feature.)