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Recipe

Moroccan Lamb Stew with Mint Tea and Apricots

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

Moroccan mint tea is made from green tea and spearmint, but if you can’t find it, any mint tea will do. This richly spiced stew is fragrant with mint tea-infused orange juice and ras el hanout, a Middle Eastern spice blend available at specialty markets.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups freshly squeezed, strained orange juice (from 6 medium oranges)
  • 1/2 cup mint tea, preferably Moroccan
  • 4 3/4-inch-thick lamb shoulder chops, patted dry (about 2 lb.)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. dry mustard
  • 1 Tbs. ras el hanout
  • 3 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 small rib celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 oz. (1 cup) soft dried apricots, halved
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves; whole leaves for garnish
  • 6 Tbs. plain yogurt

Nutritional Information

      Calories (kcal) : 630
      Fat Calories (kcal): 250
      Fat (g): 28
      Saturated Fat (g): 9
      Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 4.5
      Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
      Cholesterol (mg): 85
      Sodium (mg): 800
      Carbohydrates (g): 65
      Fiber (g): 11
      Protein (g): 33

Preparation

  • In a 2-quart nonreactive saucepan, bring the orange juice to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the tea leaves, and steep for 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing to extract as much liquid as possible, and set aside.
  • Season the lamb with salt and plenty of black pepper. In a flat dish, combine the mustard and ras el hanout. Dredge the chops in the mixture.
  • In a 7- to 8-quart heavy-duty pot, heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside. Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and any remaining spice mixture to the pot. Cook, stirring often and scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the infused orange juice, tomatoes,star anise, and cinnamon stick. Return the lamb to the pot. Add the apricots, cover, and adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, turning the chops occasionally, until tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Transfer the chops to a cutting board. Bring the sauce to a boil, add the chickpeas, and cook, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat from the surface, until the sauce is thickened slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick and star anise. Trim the bones and fat from the lamb, cut into bite-size pieces, and return it to the sauce. Stir in the chopped mint. Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt, sprinkled with the whole mint leaves.

Make Ahead Tips

You can make the stew up to 1 day ahead up through the step of cutting the lamb meat into chunks. Return the meat to the sauce and refrigerate, covered. Reheat over medium-low heat, then stir in the chopped mint and garnish just before serving with the yogurt and mint leaves.

Reviews

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Reviews

  • fortkcook | 05/09/2017

    I was intrigued by the ingredients but disappointed with the outcome. The combination of orange juice, dried apricots and cooked down tomatoes made the dish way too sweet for our taste, and the lamb came out somewhat chewy and caramelized, not unctuous the way slow cooked lamb shoulder usually is. I normally really like the sweet/savory combination of Moroccan dishes, but this one was too far at the sweet end of the scale, without enough in the way of savory to balance it out.

  • llacim | 02/17/2015

    This stew was pleasantly good! I didn't know what to expect so it exceeded my expectations. I bought bagged Moroccan tea and used 7 tea bags to steep the tea. I found the ras el hanout at Whole foods. I didn't have star anise so went without. I bought a boneless lamb shoulder roast and cubed it. Other than that I followed everything to a t and the results were well received by everyone. Served with naan and yogurt.

  • user-4336772 | 01/07/2015

    This is probably one of the best recipes I have ever made. So delicious and great left over.

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