Braised Moroccan Lamb
- Yield 6 servings
- Prep 15 mins
- Cook 80 mins
Leg of lamb braised in wine with carrot, onion, celery and tomato sauced with raisins and almonds.
- 1 bone-in leg of lamb (3 to 4 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 3/8 teaspoon pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 pound (1 large) onion, coarsly chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and coarsly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsley chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 2 cups chicken, veal or lamb stock
- 1 medium tomato, ends removed and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup blanched whole almonds, lightly toasted
- 2 cups California raisins
- Braise the Lamb: Preheat the oven to 450F. Lay the lamb out, skin side down, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cumin, pepper and thyme. Roll and tie well with butcher’s string. Season the outside lightly with salt and pepper.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in an ovenproof casserole slightly larger than the lamb. Brown the lamb on all sides; then pour out the oil. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil to the casserole; stir in the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Over medium-high heat, cook until the onion has colored slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin and the rosemary; deglaze the pan with the red wine and bring to a boil. Pour in the stock; add the tomato; season with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper; cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until almost tender, about 1 hour.
- Sauce: Remove meat and keep warm. With a slotted spoon, separate the vegetables from the sauce and purée in a blender. Scrape back into the sauce and reduce just until the sauce thickens slightly. Strain into a clean casserole; add the almonds and raisins and return to the oven for about 15 minutes longer, until the lamb is very tender and the raisins are soft. (If sauce thickens too much, thin with a little stock).
- To Serve: Cut lamb into slices and arrange on heated plates. Spoon some sauce over, placing the raisins and almonds on and around the meat. Serve immediately. Pass any remaining sauce in a small bowl.
Recipe by Chef Wolfgang Puck, courtesy of the California Raisin Marketing Board