This dish is amazing and incredibly tender. The spices don’t over power the lamb at all and they add wonderful layers of flavour. This makes enough for 4 so we have another portion to freeze (yippee). I love how you can put it in the slow cooker and it looks after itself whilst releasing yummy aromas.
100g Prunes, stoned and halved
100g Dried Apricots, quartered
1KG shoulder of diced Mutton or Lamb cut into 5cm cubes with most of the fat removed
2 onions, chopped
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ras el hanout
2 tsp zaatar spice
2 tsp sumac
2 tsp salt
2 tsp pepper
Pinch of saffron strands
2 tsp harissa paste
2 tbsp runny honey
200ml of lamb or beef stock
Put the diced mutton or lamb into a bowl with 1 tsp of the dry spices and combine together.
Make sure that the spices are rubbed into the meat completely as this will enhance the flavour.Cover the bowl and refrigerate if possible
Soak the prunes and apricots in 300ml of black tea for about 15 minutes
Using a large frying pan, brown half of the meat thoroughly for 5 minutes on all sides. Set aside in a bowl and then do the same to the other half. When browned, leave the meat in the bowl to rest
Next fry the onions over a medium heat for about 5 minutes or until soft. Now add the remaining 1 tsp of dried spices to the onions and cook out for a couple of minutes.
Add the browned meat into the pan with onion mixture and the saffron strands. Next stir in the harissa paste and the runny honey. Add in the lamb or beef stock and all of the black tea that you used to soak the fruit in.
Spoon the mixture into your slow cooker and then put the soaked fruits on top of the mixture. Cook on high heat for 90 minutes and then turn the heat to low and cook for another 5 hours or until the meat is very tender. Stir the mixture regularly to ensure that the fruits are combined and that the stew is not getting stuck to the bottom of the pot.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of cornflour (diluted with a small amount of cold water to form a paste), into the stew as this will thicken the juices to make a gravy