Moroccan Lamb with Dried Plums and Apricots


Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisines traditionally incorporate dried fruits such as plums and apricots in savory dishes. Here tender chunks of lamb are quickly sautéed, then added at the last minute to a rich sauce redolent of Middle Eastern spices. The dried fruits contribute a touch of sweetness to the dish. Be sure to use a tender cut of lamb, as this is not a stew. Serve with couscous or rice.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless lamb, preferably from the leg (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  teaspoon Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large yellow onion (quartered and thinly sliced crosswise, about 2 cups)
6 cloves garlic (coarsely chopped)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups lamb or chicken stock
1 can (14.5 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes (drained and cut into 2 or 3 pieces each)
16 whole Earthbound Farm Organic Dried Plums
1/2 cup dried apricot halves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


Liberally season the cubes of lamb with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over high heat; when hot, add the lamb. Cook until the cubes are browned on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside at room temperature.

Return the Dutch oven to the stove and add the onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they soften and begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spices and cook, stirring constantly, for two minutes. Add the stock and the tomatoes, and reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the sauce until the tomatoes begin to soften, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Add the dried plums and apricots, and cook until the fruit is tender and the sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

Return the browned lamb and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook just until the meat is hot, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and serve immediately.


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