Habeas Brulee » Moroccan Recipes http://habeasbrulee.com Sun, 17 Mar 2013 03:04:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.21 Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/#comments Thu, 08 May 2008 14:38:12 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2008/05/08/moroccan-inspired-pork-shanks/

Just a few announcements here, as I share the recipe for the pork shanks we served at Jack last weekend.

If you’re a blogger of any sort living in NYC, you should come join us at the Brooklyn Blogfest tonight. It will be held at (hold you breath, wait for it, wait for it…) the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope – yes, the very same fabulous location where Dave and I hold our restaurant nights twice a month.

I’ll be there to help set up and participate. I was interviewed for a video of Brooklyn Bloggers that will be played at the event. And, most importantly from your perspective, I’m sure, we’ll be giving away samples of Dave’s brilliantly fantastic homemade marshmallows in a selection of flavors – kahlua, lemon/rose/almond, and Aztec 3.0. I think our plan is to have about 200 bags of marshmallows to give away, so with an expected turnout of closer to 300 people, you better get there early if you want marshmallows tonight!

And speaking of the our restaurant, the May 24, 2008 menu is finally up.

Okay, back to the recipe. These pork shanks were loosely based on some of the fruity tagines we’ve eaten. Since Morocco is an Islamic country, making what basically amounts to a pork shank tagine is probably unheard of in traditional Moroccan cuisine. Sure is tasty, though!

2007: Amaretto Brownies with Saffron Creme Anglaise and Bee Pollen Spice Mix
2006: Paprika Sticky Rolls

Moroccan Inspired Pork Shanks
2 pork shanks (about 2.5-3 lbs)
A bit of oil for browning
for the braise
1/2 tsp saffron threads (1 big pinch)
1 C hot water
1 tsp ground ginger
2 2-inch-long cinnamon sticks
1 tsp csipos (spicy) paprika
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1/2 preserved lemon
1/8 C tomato paste
to finish the sauce
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 C coarsely chopped dried apricots

Set aside the saffron threads to steep in the hot water.

Brown the shanks by searing them in a little oil in a hot pan on all sides.

Pull the pith and flesh from the preserved lemon and discard. Rinse the peel well. Stir it and the rest of the braising ingredients into the saffron water.

Braise the shanks in the saffron water mix over low heat until meltingly tender, or just pressure cook for 25 minutes on high and then release the pressure by natural release. (Can you tell how much we love the pressure cooker we got this year? We can braise things the slow way, but we both have day jobs, after all.)

Once the pork is ready, remove the meat from the cooking liquid and set it aside to cool a bit. Strain and defat the liquid.

Start to build the rest of the sauce by sauteing the onion in a bit of oil until brown. Stir in the garlic, apricots, and degreased pork cooking liquid.

Cook the sauce for 20 minutes or so. In the meantime, to make service easier you may want to pull on a pair of gloves and pull the meat from the bone, since each shank is big enough to feed several people. This is optional, though.

When the sauce is ready, pour it back over the pork.

I like to serve this with couscous and cucumber salad.

2 C couscous
Olive oil
Cold water

Rinse the couscous in about 6 C cold water. Drain the water, and leave the damp couscous spread out in a roasting pan to absorb what remains for about ten minutes. Rake through the couscous once it dries, breaking up any lumps with your fingers.

Steam the couscous over broth or water for twenty minutes. I use a bamboo steamer set over a water-filled wok and lined with a paper towel before pouring the couscous into it. Leave the couscous uncovered as it steams.

Pour the couscous out back into the roasting pan. I like to wear nitrile or latex gloves for this step to protect my hands from the heat. Cover your hands in olive oil and add cold water slowly, raking the couscous and breaking up any lumps with your fingers as you do so. The couscous expands more from the cold water it absorbs during the raking than it does from the steaming. The oil you are rubbing into the couscous helps keep the grains separated. Add enough cold water for the couscous to stay damp and absorb, but not so much that you soak it. For 2 C couscous, I tend to add about 1 – 1 1/2 C cold water.

At this point, you can set the couscous aside covered with a damp towel for at hours before finishing it with a second steaming. If you do so, just pick up at the next step whenever you like. Otherwise, just set it aside for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Rake the couscous again to remove any lumps and return it to the steamer. (Make sure you still have enough water in the wok below.) Steam twenty minutes, uncovered. Remove from the steamer, work in a bit more cold water if you like, rake out any lumps with your fingers, and serve.

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Scallop Chickpea Tagine http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/27/scallop-chickpea-tagine/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/27/scallop-chickpea-tagine/#comments Wed, 27 Dec 2006 15:33:50 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/12/27/scallop-chickpea-tagine/

When I first served this to two couples we had over for dinner, the women declared it too spicy, while the men dug in enthusiastically. I won’t try to interpret that data, but there it is. I’m not sure why any of them found it to be so spicy, though. I am sensitive to spicy foods; I love them, but they make my nose drip and my eyes tear and, on rare occasions, my ears pop. This dish is mild enough that I can eat it in polite company without reaching for a box of tissues, so it can’t be as hot as our guests seemed to think.

Dave thinks that something about it makes the heat linger, but I did not experience that at all. I just find it satisfying, a comfort food totally unlike those I grew up with.

This makes a wonderful vegetarian dish if you omit the scallops, which is how the original recipe from Cooking Moroccan by Tess Mallos actually went. I actually think I prefer it that way.

Scallop Chickpea Tagine
(adapted from Cooking Moroccan by Tess Mallos)
Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 C chickpeas
1/4 preserved lemon, peel only, finely chopped
1/4 C chopped parsley
1/2 lb. bay scallops
3 tbsp chopped cilantro

Because most people reading this probably don’t own a tagine, these instructions are geared towards cooks using a heavy-bottomed saucepan instead.

If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them in water overnight, then cook them in lightly salted water until they are soft. If you are using canned chickpeas, you should need 2 15 oz. cans. Drain and rinse them. Either way, peel them after they are cooked (if dried) or rinsed (if canned).

Brown the onion in about 1/4 C olive oil, then stir in the garlic and spices and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and sugar, along with a bit of water if your tomatoes weren’t juicy enough, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.

Stir in the chickpeas and preserved lemon, again adding a bit of water if necessary, and continue to simmer, covered, for another 20 minutes.

Stir in the scallops, and cook until they just begin to turn opaque. Then remove from heat, stir in the parsley and cilantro, and serve with couscous.

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Kabocha Beef Tagine with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/11/29/kabocha-beef-tagine-with-chickpeas-and-preserved-lemon/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/11/29/kabocha-beef-tagine-with-chickpeas-and-preserved-lemon/#comments Wed, 29 Nov 2006 16:12:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/11/29/kabocha-beef-tagine-with-chickpeas-and-preserved-lemon/

The preparation for this dish must begin a month in advance, unless you already have a jar of preserved lemons lying around. The lemons are preserved in water and salt with a layer of oil on top, and for the first week you must shake the jar daily to redistribute the salt. After that, the lemons sit and cure. They must cure for at least a month before you can use them.

Under the cut, I have included instructions for preserving lemons and steaming couscous.

This is slow food. The long wait for the lemons to cure, and all the anticipation as you check in on them and tilt the jar to watch the increasingly viscous fluid flow. The soaking of the chickpeas overnight. The time taken to cut the meat and kabocha squash into chunks of equal size, and to grate the onions. The long, low simmering of the tagine. The rinsing of the couscous and the time for it to soak, followed by two or three steamings with additions of cold water and oil as you rub the lumps between your fingers to break them up. This is not the thing to make if you are in a rush, or not in a position to plan in advance.


All right, I confess: The kabocha squash was a last-minute thought, because we happened to have one lying around. You can use canned chickpeas instead of soaking dried ones overnight, and it will be fine. You should set up a jar of preserved lemons right now in any case, because you will think of something to do with them once they’re ready to be used. (For example, they’re brilliant when finely chopped and slipped under the skin of a chicken along with some garlic and parsley before you put it in to roast.) The tagine does take a few hours to simmer, but if you’re willing to eat late, you can get it started when you get home from work without a problem. A good vegetable cleaver makes the chopping go quickly, and costs less than $10 in Chinatown. Steaming couscous is a meditative, enjoyable task, and only requires a few minutes of attention in between steamings, with plenty of down-time where you needn’t worry about it at all.

It’s nice to think that we take the time to do things right, the slow way, the old way. It is also nice to think that we have time for activities other than work and cooking.

It can be frustrating to think about slow cooking when we lead such busy lives. My friends here and I are all typical overscheduled New Yorkers. Getting together requires taking out our calendars and planning weeks, if not months (and often, yes, it has to be months) in advance. Many of us work long hours, and when I get home from work, I’ve started to take on pro bono cases that fill my evenings. We take classes, go to events, spend time with our families and friends, and there is very little left for us.

It is strange to realize that my time is so much more valuable than it used to be. (This thought occurred to me as I was taking my time to sort cocoa nibs out from among bits of husk the other day, and realizing that I would rather spend a little more for pre-sorted, pre-roasted nibs in the future.) In school, I grew used to thinking of myself as having a lot of time, and very little money. Now, I have very little time, and a little more money, if not much. I have learned that sometimes I am willing to spend money in order to save time. A few years ago, I would never have considered that a reasonable exchange.

Still, we make it work. While tagines simmer, we work on other projects. When we go out, we make quick meals, and I can admit to having a penchant for frozen pelmeni. Dave and I try to set aside a weekend to ourselves once a month or so, where we slowly simmer stock for hours to freeze for later use, and cherish the time we have together without any other obligations as the stock cooks. We have to be fairly vigilant, or those weekends slip away too easily; there is always a last-minute invitation to an event we’d love to attend that weekend, and it is hard to turn those things down. But it is important to us to have that time together, so we do.

We want to make it work without having to sacrifice anything. We want to work hard at our jobs, spend time with our friends, work on many and varied projects, learn all there is to learn about the things that interest us, have time alone and time alone together, read constantly, and cook the sort of food that can’t come together in half an hour.

How do you make it work?

Kabocha Beef Tagine with Chickpeas and Preserved Lemon
(Adapted from Paula Wolfert’s basic beef tagine recipe.)
2 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/4″ chunks
1 small Kabocha squash (the smallest you can find), peeled and cut into 1 1/4″ chunks
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 C vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp csípős (hot) paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne
2 onions, grated
1/8 C chopped cilantro
1/8 C chopped parsley
2 1/2 C soaked and peeled chickpeas (a/k/a garbanzo beans)
1 preserved lemon
salt and black pepper to taste

One month in advance.

Set up a jar of preserved lemons.

Get a jar, a carton of kosher salt, and a lot of lemons. Organic, thin-skinned lemons are better than regular lemons, and Meyer lemons are better still.

Pour about a tablespoon of salt in the bottom of the jar. Quarter each lemon the long way, making sure the cuts stop about 1/2″ from the stem end of the lemon, leaving the quarters still attached. Pack the cuts with plenty kosher salt, at least a tablespoon per lemon. Press the lemons firmly into the jar, pushing them down as much as you can. You only use the skin when cooking anyway, and you want to squeeze the juice out so that it will cover the lemons. If you like, you can still more salt in between layers of lemons. Fill the jar as tightly as you can. Add another tablespoon salt on top. Pour some olive oil on top to keep out the air.

If some lemons are still sticking out at this point, it is okay. Over the next few days the lemons will release more of their juice and settle down further. Shake the jar once a day for the first week to help distribute the salt. If after a few days all the lemons are not actually covered with juice, add more freshly squeezed lemon juice and/or weigh down the lemons with a non-reactive object such as a clay or glass weight or a ziplock bag full of water.

It is important that you not stick your fingers into the jar after you’ve finished filling it up. That may introduce bacteria to make it go bad. Paula Wolfert says that if the lemons go bad, they will smell like furniture polish, and otherwise they are fine.

Let the lemons cure for at least a month. You’ll notice that the liquid gets thicker and the lemons more translucent as the lactic acid fermentation takes place and the pith begins to dissolve in the brine.

Once you open it up again, keep the jar in the fridge from then on. They probably don’t do that in Morocco, but I do, just in case.

When you use the lemons, you peel out the pith and flesh and throw them away. It is astonishing how easily they part from the skin. Then you rinse the skin well to remove the oil and brine, and you can use it in many dishes.

One day in advance.

Soak dried chickpeas overnight. If you are using canned chickpeas, skip this step.

Starting the tagine.

Remember, a tagine must be heated slowly and cooled slowly. Never add anything cold to a hot tagine or hot to a cold tagine.

Put the oil, spices, grated onion, and herbs into the tagine and stir them into a homogenous paste. Add the chunks of kabocha and coat them in the paste, then remove them. Add the chunks of beef and coat them, then pile the beef in the center and bottom, and pile the kabocha chunks on top.Add very little water; when you check in on it, you want to always make sure it has just enough water to keep from burning, and no more.

Turn the heat on low under the tagine. Bring it up to a slow simmer. Simmer it for several hours, or until the beef is tender. Check in on it from to time, adding water if need be (which is very unlikely).

Prepare the chickpeas (if you are using dried ones)

If you are using dried chickpeas, boil them in lightly salted water until they are tender.

If you are using canned chickpeas, just drain and rinse them.

Rub the chickpeas to remove their skins, and set them aside until later on.

An hour (for two steamings) or hour and a half (for three steamings) before the tagine is done.

Rinse the couscous in a lot of water. Drain the water, and leave the damp couscous to absorb what remains for about ten minutes. Spend the next ten minutes raking through the couscous as it continues to dry, breaking up any lumps with your fingers.

Steam the couscous over broth or water for twenty minutes. I covered the steaming rack of my rice cooker with a paper towel and poured the couscous onto it. Leave the couscous uncovered as it steams.

Pour the couscous out into a deep baking pan or large bowl. I like to wear nitrile or latex gloves for this step to protect my hands from the heat. Cover your hands in olive oil and add cold water slowly, raking the couscous and breaking up any lumps with your fingers as you do so. The couscous expands more from the cold water it absorbs during the raking than it does from the steaming. The oil you are rubbing into the couscous helps keep the grains separated. Add enough cold water for the couscous to stay damp and absorb, but not so much that you soak it. For two cups of couscous, I probably added about a cup, cup and half cold water.

After about ten minutes of raking, return the couscous to the steamer. Steam twenty minutes, uncovered. Remove from the steamer and repeat the process above with the cold water and oil and raking. At this point, you can either serve the couscous or return it to the steamer for yet another twenty minutes of steaming followed by another addition of cold water. For store-bought couscous, two steamings is certainly adequate.

This process makes couscous that is fluffy, silky, and tender. It is entirely unlike couscous cooked in water according to the instructions on the package. Yes, this method takes some time, but most of it is spent ignoring the couscous as it steams, and it is worth the effort, at least for me, and at least once in a while.

Half an hour before the tagine is done.

Pull the pith and flesh from one preserved lemon and discard. Rinse the peel well. Chop the peel finely, leaving some long slices for garnish.

Note: The preserved lemon flavor becomes very strong after the leftovers spend a night in the fridge. If this worries you, use the peel from only half a preserved lemon instead, or invite enough people over to avoid having leftovers.

Stir the chickpeas and preserved lemon into the tagine, and let it continue to simmer until done.

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Lamb Tagine with Pearl Onions, Dates, and Sugar Snap Peas http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/10/12/lamb-tagine-with-pearl-onions-dates-and-sugar-snap-peas/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/10/12/lamb-tagine-with-pearl-onions-dates-and-sugar-snap-peas/#comments Thu, 12 Oct 2006 14:10:24 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/10/12/lamb-tagine-with-pearl-onions-dates-and-sugar-snap-peas/

Well, I finally purchased a tagine, so my tagines will actually deserve the name from now on. I seasoned it by soaking it in water for about an hour and a half, then rubbing the inside with olive oil and baking it for a nice long while afterwards.

I have been rereading all the Paula Wolfert cookbooks I own, and eyeing a few more Moroccan cookbooks I would like to pick up. It is a wonderful voyage, trying to learn enough about Moroccan cooking to be able to improvise within it more dramatically.

Paula Wolfert has written that she prefers to cook traditional dishes in the traditional manner. She is a culinary anthropologist, and her research and stories are extraordinary. I love the recipes she manages to unearth. I respect and appreciate her commitment to working within the strictures of the cuisine that she loves.

I can’t function that way myself. I truly enjoy learning about traditional techniques and recipes, but in the end, fusion is my native cuisine, and all else falls before that. I am less interested in doing things right than I am in doing them well. That said, you have to understand the rules before you can break them successfully. With Moroccan cooking, I am still first learning the rules.

This tagine was adapted partially from a recipe I found on Food Down Under, and partially from the general technique for cooking lamb tagines that Wolfert explains in her books, and, well, the sugar snap peas looked really good when we went to the store.

Lamb Tagine with Pearl Onions, Dates, and Sugar Snap Peas
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 lbs boneless lamb, cut into 1″ chunks
10 oz pearl onions
5 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 C chopped cilantro
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/b tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp saffron threads
Salt and pepper to taste
1 C warm water (plus more if necessary)
8 oz pitted dates
2 tbsp honey
About four big handfuls of sugar snap peas (rinsed, ends snapped off and discarded)

Blanch the pearl onions in boiling water for about 3 minutes. It will be easy to peal them afterwards, just by cutting off the root end and squeezing the onions out of their outer layers, which you then discard.

Do not, repeat, do not heat up your tagine before you start putting stuff into it. Place the tagine on your stovetop. Put in the oil and swirl it around a bit. Add the spices and herbs, and turn on the heat very low. Add the lamb and stir it around until it is coated in the oil/herbs/spices.

Add the onions and water, then put the top on the tagine and allow it to slowly come up to a simmer. If you want a few onions to remain whole and pretty instead of melting into the sauce, reserve a small handful and add them in later on instead.

It is remarkable how much cooking action you can get in a tagine over very low heat. I have never seen any other pot allow its contents to simmer over the lowest setting on my stove before.

Simmer for about an hour and a half, then add the dates. Continue simmering for another half hour or so, or until the lamb is unutterably tender.

Remove the lamb and place it on a baking sheet, and brown it for just a moment under the broiler, then set it aside.

Stir the honey into the sauce and cover the tagine again. Let it simmer for a little while longer, until the sauce is almost-but-not-quite reduced to your desire consistency. Add the peas, and let simmer for just a few minutes longer. Then return the lamb to the tagine, stir, and simmer just until all is warmed through again.

Don’t place your hot tagine onto a cold trivet. Remember, always heat your tagine slowly and allow it to cool slowly.

Serve and enjoy.

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Fig and Date Basteeya http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/14/fig-and-date-basteeya/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/14/fig-and-date-basteeya/#comments Mon, 14 Aug 2006 14:32:36 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/08/14/fig-and-date-basteeya/

In their original form, basteeya are Moroccan dove pies, savory pastries of spiced dove with almonds and cinnamon and sugar. We usually make them with chicken instead, with cumin and saffron and dill and other such things. There are often several dozen of them in our freezer, in case of emergency meat hunger.

These sweet fig and date basteeya are based off a recipe from Food & Wine Magazine. They taste like pastry candies to me, chewy and dark and sweet. I made them with almond meal, because I do not like whole nuts, and with bamboo honey, which has a more distinct flavor than the clover and goldenrod honeys Americans tend to use, but is not quite as overwhelming as, say, buckwheat or walnut honeys can be. The tang of the bamboo honey complemented the dried fruit very well.

Fig and Date Basteeya
3/8 C finely chopped dried Black Mission figs
3/8 C finely chopped dates
1/4 C almond meal
2 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
Pinch of salt
1/4 C very hot tap water
Phyllo dough
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
Cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling

Mix together in a bowl the figs, dates, almond meal, honey, extracts, salt, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge overnight.

Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough at a time, leaving the rest covered with saran wrap and damp paper towels over the saran wrap in the meantime. Cut the sheet of dough into strips the short way. It’s best to keep them relatively narrow, maybe only 1 1/2″-2″ wide or so, because these are so densely sweet.

For each strip: Brush melted butter over the entire strip of dough. Place a glob of filling near the top. Fold the dough over it and down along the strip the same way you would fold a flag. Brush melted butter over the top of the fully folded pastry, and sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar. Repeat with as many strips as you have filling to fill.

At this point, you can either bake and eat the pastries immediately, or you can freeze them to be baked and eaten later.

Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes if fresh, or 40 minutes or so if frozen.

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Lamb Tagine with Apricots, Dates, and Yams http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/03/21/lamb-tagine-with-apricots-dates-and-yams/ http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/03/21/lamb-tagine-with-apricots-dates-and-yams/#comments Tue, 21 Mar 2006 12:01:10 +0000 http://habeasbrulee.com/2006/03/21/lamb-tagine-with-apricots-dates-and-yams/

To be honest, what I’ve actually been searching for is a good recipe for Sali Boti, a Parsi lamb and apricot dish that I have every time I go to this wonderful Indian restaurant in Cambridge. I haven’t really seen any trustworthy recipes for it, though. If anyone reading this knows of any, I’d be very grateful if you’d send it my way.

In the meantime, lamb and apricots are good together in so many different ways. This is my adaptation of a Faye Levy recipe for lamb tagine. I’ve been sick lately, and with no one around to make me yet another pot of Mom’s Chicken Soup, this was the perfect comfort food for me to make for myself after I got sent home sick from work yesterday.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots, Dates, and Yams
2 1/2 lbs. lamb shoulder chops (or 2 lbs. boneless lamb)
Vegetable oil
2 medium red onions (chopped)
1/8 tsp saffron threads
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 C water (and more, later on)
1 lb. orange-fleshed sweet potatoes or yams (peeled and cut into approximately 3/4″ cubes)
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
nutmeg to taste
3/4 C dried Turkish apricots (sliced in half)
1 C pitted dates
1 tbsp honey

Cut the meat off the bone, if any, and remove all excess fat. This can be a bit of a hassle with lamb, but it’s worth the effort. Cut the meat into approximately 1″ cubes.

Heat about 1 tbsp oil in a heavy stew pot, and brown the meat and bones lightly on all sides over medium-high heat. This may work best in several batches, so you can keep them in a single layer throughout the browning process. Once browned, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon.

Add more oil if necessary, then throw in the onions. Once the onions are thoroughly browned (but not burned), return the meat, bones, and any juices to the pot. Add saffron, salt, pepper, and water. Mix well, and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer until the lamb is tender, about an hour and fifteen minutes. The water won’t cover the lamb entirely, so check in on it and stir it around from time to time.

After an hour and fifteen minutes or so, remove the meat and bones from the pot and put them aside on a clean plate, leaving the onions behind. Remove any meat attached to the bones and keep it with the rest of meat, discarding the bones.

Add the yams or sweet potatoes to the pot and simmer, covered, for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, apricots, and dates, and simmer, covered, for another ten or fifteen minutes or so, still stirring from time to time, until the fruit and yams are soft. Depending on the proportions of your stew pot, you may need to add more water during this process if too much of it has simmered away.

Once all is tender, stir in the honey, then return the meat to the pot and simmer, covered, for about five minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and you’re done. I put quite a lot of black pepper in this, because it goes so well with all the sweetness of the fruits and yams.

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