Lamb Tagine with Prunes
3 pounds lamb shanks, sawed into 1-inch pieces
3 medium onions, peeled and grated, two peeled and thickly sliced
1 tablespoon ras el hanout, plus more to taste*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Large pinch saffron
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup canned chickpeas
3 cups pumpkin or butternut squash chunks
3/4 cup pitted prunes, halved
Pita Bread or lavash
1. Coat lamb with grated onion, ras el hanout, and salt and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Add meat, and brown lightly on all sides. Add saffron, water, and cinnamon stick; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Let cool slightly, and remove shanks. Pull meat from bones, keeping pieces as large as possible; discard fat, gristle, and bones. Season with salt and pepper. Skim fat from liquid, or refrigerate overnight, and remove fat. Refrigerate meat.
3. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon butter and 1 teaspoon oil. Add sliced onions, and sprinkle with sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium-high heat for 15 minutes, tossing or stirring only when brown. Turn heat to low, and cook until onions are very soft and brown, about 20 more minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and cooking liquid from the lamb, and bring to a boil. Add meat, chickpeas, and pumpkin or squash, and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove lid, stir in prunes, and simmer until thick, about 15 to 20 more minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Serve immediately with harissa sauce and lavash or pita bread.
*To make your own Ras el Hanout:
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Seleq – Lamb with Rice
2 lbs. of lamb cut into ½ inch cubes
3 medium onions, finely chopped
2 Tb. Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups milk
2 cups rice, rinsed
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Simmer the meat, onions, coriander, salt and pepper in water in a covered saucepan over low heat for one hour. Remove the meat and set aside, and keep warm.
Add 2 cups of water and the milk to the stock in which the meat was cooked. Bring to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and cook very gently over low heat until the rice is nearly cooked (about 15 minutes.) Turn off the heat and allow to steam 10 minutes longer.
Place the rice on a large tray. Arrange the pieces of meat on top. Pour the melted butter over the rice and meat. Serve with a vegetable salad.
Serves 4 to 6.