Whenever we go out to eat Indian food, I order a lamb curry. It’s not that much more expensive than the chicken and I just love the deep, rich flavor of lamb stewed in spices and vegetables. Yet, I’ve never made a stewed lamb dish at home, until now.
Lamb seems like such a splurge, if you’re able to get over any lingering ethical concerns (in my opinion, the lives of full-grown beef cattle are equally as horrifying as the lives of lambs grown for meat). But really, it’s not that much more than a cut of beef, especially if you watch the sales.
Why is lamb so wonderful with spicy Middle Eastern/Indian dishes? There’s something about curry spices that brings out the lamb’s flavor – stronger than beef, but not gamey in a bad way. It just works, and this easy Crock Pot recipe is something I quickly threw together before work one day. I came home to a house warmed with the aromas of a hearty, exotic stew – not thick, but with a light sauce that soaks nicely into couscous.
Interesting – it includes an apple, which I couldn’t discern in the finished product, but I am sure it adds a sweetness that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Thank you, mom, for sharing this recipe!
Crock Pot Moroccan Lamb Stew (from an arborist newsletter)
- 2 lb. boneless lamb, cut in 1-inch cubes (I couldn’t find boneless, so I just bought 2 lbs of lamb steaks and cut them up)
- 2 small sweet onions, chopped
- 2 c. carrots, cut in 1-inch cubes
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 c. dried currants
- 1 tsp groun cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, with juices
- 2 c. chicken broth or stock
- Fresh mint or cilantro, chopped, for garnish
- Cooked couscous (recipe below)
Add all ingredients to large Crock Pot -except fresh herbs – in order listed. Turn on low and cook for 8 hours (or on high for 4).
Meanwhile, prepare couscous: I melted 2 T unsalted butter in medium saucepan over medium, then added 3 T pine nuts and stirred until the nuts were golden and toasted – you will smell their nuttiness. Add 1 c. uncooked couscous and stir to combine. Add 1 1/4 c. water or chicken stock, stir, cover and remove from heat to let sit 5 minutes.
To serve, first stir the lamb. Scoop some couscous on your plate, then top with lamb stew. Finish with fresh herbs.
You may have to add more salt and pepper, to your taste, but we really loved the flavors. I might even add a dash of cinnamon next time – I just love cooking savory meals with cinnamon these days.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo
I cannot wait to try this. Did you hear the NPR segment about the rise in demand for lamb and goat meat in the US? So interesting!
Very interesting, Anna! My mom always orders goat, but I’m too scared of it…
Oh yes. What a great recipe. Lamb is my favourite meat and Moroccan is a brilliant way to flavour it. Lovely post.
Anna – we made this last night and it was fantastic. I ended up cooking it faster in a dutch oven, browning the lamb (raised on an organic farm in Tonasket, WA!) and then cooking the onion, then adding everything else and baking for an hour. Your couscous recipe is so good we’re having it again tonight! In my imagination, we’re 1st and 2nd chair in the orchestra again, but we get in trouble for talking about food too much. 🙂 Keep posting delicious food and hope all is well in NC! -Ann
Ann – I shall imagine that if we kept with our studies instead of wandering in different directions, our music-stand chatter would be just that. Miss you! xo
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thanks for posting this recipe. I made this today with lamb I bought at the farmers market and it turned out delicious! I had never cooked lamb before and wasn’t sure how to prepare in a slow-cooker. my boyfriend was very impressed
Jen, I’m so glad! I made it again with a more fatty piece of lamb and it was NOT as good. I recommend trimming as much fat as you can, otherwise the sauce is way too greasy.
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Thank you so much for this recipe! I just bought my very first crockpot (at age 40, go figure) despite my boyfriend being unconvinced by it… well, we made this today – our first try with the crockpot – and it was exceptional – just melt in your mouth good. In the UK, lamb is very common but relatively expensive. Well, we got 1/2 a leg for a mere £6 (in Aldi!) so chopped the meat from the bone to use in this. Definitely one we’ll be adding to our regular rota. 🙂 xxx
3 quick questions: 1) for small sweet onion–are you using visalia? 2) do you think it matters what kind of apple? I have a Rome apple on hand. 3) do I need the real allspice or do you think it would work with the made-up mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves?
Hi Michele! Happy to answer your questions:
1. Yes, I typically use Vidalia or just regular old yellow onion.
2. Apple – I think Roma would be good – any firm, crisp apple.
3. Your own mixture is probably just fine. Good luck!