Moroccan Lamb Stew with Apricots and Prunes Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Apricots and Prunes

The essence of this recipe is the combination of sweet and hot elements. Avoid the urge to cook the lamb too quickly. The slow, gentle cooking is the key to a tender and juicy stew with an almost glaze-like sauce. Serve it with Harissa, the hot chile paste that is a hallmark of North African cooking. Available in the US at World Market and Whole Foods, in Europe at your friendly North African and Turkish grocers.

Yield: 6 servings

Time: 60 minutes


  • 3 lbs (1,35 kg) good quality lamb shoulder, cleaned from excessive fat and sinews and cut into chunky pieces
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 ground ginger
  • 1 large onion, about 1 cup (140 g), coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely slivered
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/2 cups (830 ml) beef stock
  • 6 tomatoes, peeled and chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup (130 g) dried apricots
  • 1 cup dried (125 g) prunes
  • 1 untreated lemon, juiced and rind grated
  • 4 Tbsp fresh cilantro (coriander leaves), chopped
  • Harissa to serve


Mix cinnamon, cumin, ginger, salt and pepper and rub it into the lamb chunk. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sauté lamb pieces for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown. Stir in onion and garlic and cook for further 5 minutes until onions begin to soften. Add the beef stock, chopped tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Add apricots and prunes. Cook lamb for about 30-45 minutes or until fork-tender stirring once in a while and watching that apricots and prunes do not get too soft. If sauce gets too thick, add a bit more stock or water.

Just before serving add lemon juice and rind. Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve it with Harissa on the side.

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