How to Make Moroccan Lamb Stew
Chef Jacques van Staden prepares Moroccan Lamb Stew
Moroccan Lamb Stew
We’re doing Moroccan lamb stew now. We have a lot of different ingredients here. I didn’t really chop anything because as you can see here everything is pre-chopped that we did and basically what we’re going to have is some thyme. I have madras curry. We have scallions that’s going to come in at the end. We have bay leaves. We have some turmeric, pistachio nuts. We have cayenne. We have garlic, cilantro. We’ve got bunch of different dry fruits here. We have apricots, raisins, and I have some cranberries and then we’re going to do some couscous or lamb we have here, lamb stew meat.
You can order this from your butcher, just regular diced lamb. Another secret to this as you can see tonight when we’re going to cook it these are a little bit smaller. We cut them in like one inch cubes. What happens with that is it cooks faster.
Now if you want a larger piece of meat, you can have like 2 to 3 quarter of inch. You can have them diced up. It takes a much longer time to cook usually about 3 hours. The nice dish will probably do about one hour and we’ll be finished cooking. Toasted almonds and we have some orange juice.
So let’s start off here with some regular corn oil. So we’re going to turn this up, right now we have a high heat. The pots have been on for a little while so I make sure it’s hot. The key to this is you’re going to make sure you seer the meat properly. When I said properly is you have to make sure that all the sides are nice and brown. If it’s not nice and brown, the consistency of your stew is more like boiled. I mean yes, we’re going to boil and stew it but it’s nice to get a more flavor out of the meat that’s why we’re going to seer it and it seer it real hard.
What we’re going to do, we’re going to season the meat, salt and pepper and then we’re going to go ahead and start to seering it in our pot here. Be careful when you do this. A lot of times when have the meat you get some butcher you see some liquids in the bottom. When you add it to your pot it will start splattering.
So as you can see right now, smoking point, everybody can see the smoke there? That’s where we want to start adding. People sometimes think that it’s too hot of the heat but it’s not. That’s the heat that we wanted. We add this, try not to dump everything in at one time. With your tongs, place it in but there’s some liquid it’s going to get up over and once we don’t want that liquid in here yet.
You put the meat in the pot, don’t stir it. The pot is hot. Don’t stir the meat at all. This is what happens and as soon as you add the meat to this, it cools down the pot. So, you want to make the soup and seer and brown on one side. Then we’re going to take the meat, stir it, flip it over until it’s nice and golden brown on the other side. The meat, you can see into the pot here it got a really nice brown color to it. Now that’s what’s going to help us give the flavor.
So let’s take a little bowl that we have here on the side and then we’re going to go ahead and put all the meat in there. Again, the purpose of doing this is to make sure that when we add our vegetables to this now, we’re going to actually caramelize the vegetables. So you can see the meat nice and golden brown. I will add some olive oil, corn oil I mean, sorry. And then now we’re going to go with the onions first, put the onions in and then we’re going to go ahead and add our carrots and we have some scallions.
On the side here, I have another pan, a sauté pan. I already have some olive oil in there and I already have some corn oil in there and I already going to add the rest of our carrots and we’re going to caramelize it in here. The reason for this is again, we want every thing caramelized and we’re going to do this on the side so what we’re going to do is add this so it will be done at the same time, you understand?
Now, if you’re adding all the vegetables in here it, will take a much longer time like I want to get this done because we’re going to still have to do the couscous. And we’re going to get this cooking because it’s going to take at least an hour and a half to cook. So now, you’re looking in the pan now. You see how it gets starting to brown there. What you want to do is take your spoon, put your vegetables over there and really like scrape and that’s how we’re going to do it. You can see it’s starting to get a little brown on this one.
So now, we’re going to go the next part. Our curry, what I’m going to do is I’m going to add a little bit more oil, a little bit more oil to this and now if you like butter, you can do butter as well. Very, very nice, it’s a really good flavor. The curry, we have to sweat the curry, very important. People don’t know that. People a lot of times they make curry dishes and they do not sweat the curry. What this means, sweating the curry is already ground up. So, it has oils in it. What we need to do is we need to heat them up and bring the oils out of it because what happens sometimes people, they don’t do that. They just add it to it and a lot of times to curry dishes, there’s more lie sawdust. So, it’s really, really nice to tell them.
Now, be careful in this. Every time on high heat, I’m going to turn it down it a little bit and you can see here and you will think that that’s burned. Everybody think that’s burned and we’ll see the flavor that that’s going to add to the actual dish. I’ll add a little bit more oil to this. Again, if you need a good amount of the curry soaks up all the oil. It soaks up all the oil.
And later on I’m going to show you, you think this is going to be real fatty dish because we add so much oil. When we get to the end we’re going to skim all the oil with the ladle and we’re going to discard the oil and it’s basically oil-free or fat-free from the lamb that we’re going to cook as well in there.
So, you get the curries, sweat it. Now, another thing that’s interesting, the garlic I’m only adding that now. You can add it in the beginning but I’m going to add the garlic because I really want a good garlic flavor to that, too. So peel your garlic, add that to this, and so in here I have some curry paste. You can buy this in the Indian market. You can buy in international markets. What’s nice with a curry paste is it’s already pureed up so you don’t have to toast this but it has a lot of good flavor in it. We’re going to add a little curry paste to that and this is just a mild curry paste.
And then I have some turmeric here, turmeric, again for the nice color because we want it good. Curry sometimes you cook the curry but it doesn’t have a vibrant yellow color. So, add a little bit of turmeric to it so you’re going to see with the dish when all the liquid is added to it you’re got a nice vibrant yellow color.
Now again, everything is sticking to the pan, let’s turn it up on high heat a little bit here. And this where we’re going to come to the deglazing part, very important, red wine add that to it and you can hear, it starts simmering again. So, this is where you want to take your spoon and please folks, whatever you do make sure you use a plastic spoon or a wooden spoon, definitely wooden spoon, really good.
What you’re going to do is shake the pots, scrape the bottom and all that’s going to come off. Make sure you scrape it before you put anything on it because you want it clean because if you don’t have it clean, the surface is not clean, after you’re going to cook the stew that will just burn, then it will start burning instead of deglazing it.
Everything is deglazed here. It’s neat. Now, we’re going to put our lamb back, add everything in there. We’re going to add our orange juice, add that to it and then I have some tomatoes. I’m going to add the tomatoes. You have a choice, too. You can add the tomatoes when you deglaze everything else with the vegetables. We can add the tomatoes now, nice flavor, helps a little bit of acidity, same with the white wine.
Then the fruit, sometimes I have a preference. I add the fruit now or you can add the fruit at the end because what’s happening is sometimes the food cooks away but you add half of it now and the rest later. As you can see, our vegetables here on the side start cooking a little bit so we just tossed a little bit. That will be ready in maybe really two minutes. We just put some thyme into our stew and then we’re going to add the bay leaves, a couple of bay leaves, take some of the almonds and of course you can see these almonds nice and toasted.
Again make sure you toast it, add some more flavor, un-toasted almonds not as good as the toasted ones but we have the apricots, add our apricots. Now, we’re going to bring this up to a boil, okay and then after that we’re going to turn it down to a simmer because you want to simmer it. We just bring it up so it’s nice flavor. You know it’s there and then turn it on.
We have some of our cranberries and we have raisins and then we’re going to add some pistachios and then what we want to do is stir this and then if you don’t have chicken stock, you can use regular water. I have some chicken stock over here. You get this and before we do that let’s add the rest of our vegetables. So we went on with the stew without warning. You could just go ahead sauté these vegetables inside then add to this.
Now, I'm going to add some chicken stock to this. We just boil barely want to cover it. Again, the chicken stock when you do a stew, you got to make sure that most of your ingredients are submerged in the stock because what happens, any of the ingredients especially the lamb, whatever of the lamb that sticks out, takes longer to cook and sometimes when you have your stew they’re not as nice and tender. So take this, mix it all together. It smells fantastic. I’m going to add some salt to it and I’m going to add some—a little bit of cayenne.
Let me give you a secret about the cayenne. It’s nice when you a stew. Now, of course add too much, you spoil the broth or the stew. What we’re going to do with this one, a little bit of cayenne because you have the acidity, you have the sweetness and you just want a little bit of spice in the back. That’s when you have all flavors. So, it’s always good to have a balance. There is one for salt, acidity, you know you want to add the sweet and the sour and then this one. We’re going to add a little bit of spice to it.
So, as you can see our stew is getting ready and it’s boiling here. We can look into here. You can see there, nice and colorful, really, really nice. Well, this is going to cook for probably about hour and a half and it will be ready. What we’re going to do here you can use a pan, a baking dish. Make sure you have a lid because we’re going to cover it and we can just going to place the couscous in here and I’m going to just stir it so, it’s just like flat and then here, we have some boiling chicken stock. So what we’re going to do is just take the chicken stock for our couscous and then we’re going to make sure that everything is level.
Now this, you don’t want to boil it. This is the very important part in doing this. Do not add too much chicken stock, just like this, stirring the sides and make sure it’s nice and flat and then we’re going to put the lid on this and we’re going to set it aside for about 10, 20 minutes somewhere where it’s warm and then when we come back, the couscous will be nice and tight. I’m going to take a fork, flake it and we begin to take it from there, toss it with a little bit of cilantro and some extra virgin olive oil.
All right, folks, we’re back with our couscous and what we did, you know like I told you, we flaked it up with a fork so it’s nice and fluffy. So, we’re going to put our couscous in here and we just toss it with a little bit olive oil so it’s really, really nice and then over here we have our beautiful, fantastic, wonderful smelling tajine that’s been cooking for about an hour and a half now and you can see it’s really nice and thick.
How to Make Moroccan Lamb Stew
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