Mishmishiya – tocanita marocana de miel

2 lbs boneless lamb, in chunks
1 tsp salt
1 – 2 onions, finely chopped
1 tsp each ground coriander, cumin
1/2 tsp each ground pepper, cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 lb dried apricots, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, boiled 5 minutes, and pureed in a blender
2 oz ground almonds
1 tsp rosewater
optional:  1/4 tsp pulverized mastic, pinch of saffron

As directed in the original translated recipe above, cook the lamb with onion and seasonings over a low heat, covered, until tender, at least 1 hour.  Meanwhile, prepare apricot puree.  Moisten ground almonds with a little of the puree, and add, with the rest of the apricot mixture, for the last few minutes of cooking.  Sprinkle on rosewater.  Remove from heat, cover, and let stand in a warm place at least 5 minutes before serving.

The only lamb available to me at the store today was lamb chops, and I managed to get one pound of meat cut from the bones.  So I did a half recipe.  I think it is important to cut the lamb into bite-sized chunks and remove most of the fat.

The lamb, thinly sliced onions, and spices (sorry, no mastic) all went into one pan, were covered with water, and placed on the stove.  I had the heat up high until it started to bubble, then I turned it down to a barely simmering state.  At the demonstration, I put a lot of charcoal around the pot until it steamed, then I pulled away the coals until I barely saw bubbling.

I need to point out that the mixture of spices already made my mouth water, before anything started cooking! 

Meanwhile, the apricots were soaked in hot water (nearly simmering) for most of the lamb’s cooking time.  Yes, I know I didn’t follow directions but I was replicating what I had to do at the demonstration — blenders just aren’t an Elizabethan cooking implement and sieves are pesky to use in the outdoors, so I simmered the apricots until they were falling apart, then I put them into my big mortar and mashed them with my pestle until they were pretty smooth.

My modern blender made the apricot puree an easy task, although not as fun as using a mortar and pestle. 

At the demo, I tend to lose track of time so I think the lamb simmered for at least two hours.  It was certainly tender and the water had converted to a luscious broth.  Today I simmered it for an hour and the meat was ready.

It was hard to wait the five or so minutes after mixing but I know it is important to allow the flavors to blend.  At the demo, it allowed the stew to cool enough so people could taste it without burning their mouths. 

Lasati un mesaj

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