The Weatherman's brother (we could call him "The Stage Manager" but I prefer "Uncle Frank") came up for dinner last night. It was just cold enough that I thought I could get away with serving this lamb stew. It comes from "The Loaves and Fishes Cookbook" and will make your kitchen smell like heaven. I served it over whole-grain couscous.
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 1/2 pounds lamb from leg, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes. (Ask the grocery store butcher to cut it for you if you can't find it on the shelves.)
4 cups peeled, finely chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
3 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes or one 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander or 1/2 teaspoon dried
One 3-inch stick cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup golden raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Heat the oil and butter in a large saute pan, and brown the lamb on all sides over medium-high heat. Do this in two batches. Transfer the lam to an oven-proof casserole.
Place the onion and garlic in the same pan and saute until they turn light brown, 4 or 5 minutes. Add the flour and stir it in, then add the tomatoes and the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Scrape all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the head and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to mix.
Pour the sauce over the lamb. Cover the casserole dish with foil and bake for 2 hours.