CSA-inspired lamb stew

A friend sent a list of foods she received in her CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture) and I was inspired to create this Moroccan recipe for her, using the food in her box. Both of us, at different times, have toured Morocco and LOVED the food. I especially loved the tagine dishes with perserved lemons, and the warming sweet spices (gotta love the way these spices increase our metabolism, too!).

In her box this week:

  • Pink Lady Apple
  • Navel Orange
  • Eureka Lemon
  • Bunched Spinach
  • Leaf Lettuce
  • Bunched Collard
  • Celery
  • Garnet Yam
  • Crimini Mushroom

Lamb or Vegetarian Stew, CSA style

Ingredients, listed in order to be used:

NOTE: First –as always– it’s best to allow the meat (lamb, if using) to come to room temperature before cooking. Remove meat from package and put it on the counter top and let sit for 2 hours.

1. Soak together, set aside:   (to be used as a garnish)

  • 1/2 Eureka Lemon, thinly sliced pieces (zesting first is okay)
  • 1 tbls Umeboshi Plum Vinegar

2. In 10-inch saute pan or skillet, heat oil and add the following, cook for 10 minutes, stir often:

  • 1 tbls cooking oil
  • 4 Celery ribs, dices
  • 1/2 Garnet Yam, large dice
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced

3. Add the following to the saute pan, cook for 10 minutes, stir often:

  • 1 cup rice (or quinoa)
  • 1/2 Bunched Collard, chopped to bite-size pieces
  • 10 Crimini Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped to large bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium tomato, 8 to 10 wedges
  • 1 Pink Lady Apple, chopped to small bite-size pieces

4. Move mixture aside making a well in the center of the pan and add the following in thin layer (not piled on top of each other), do not stir, allow to cook for a minute:

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (or one 3-inch cinnamon stick)
  • 12 threads saffron, crushed
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, minced

5. Add the following liquid, stir well, cook at low simmer –untouched, do not stir– for 20 minutes or until the rice is cooked:

  • 2 cups broth (veggie or chicken or beef)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

6. OPTIONAL, add the lamb and the liquid:

  • 1 pound lamb (cubed or ground or slices)

Top with:

  • 1/2 Eureka Lemon, zest and juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • Marinated lemon slices

TIPS:

1. Put lamb on counter top for 1 to 2 hours to bring to room temperature. Cold protein going into a hot pot will result in tough meat. Room temp protein going into a hot pot will result in more tender meat.