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Fragrant Lamb Stew With Dried Fruits

Olive oil to film bottom of pot
3 lb. lamb, cut into cubes from boneless leg of lamb
3 to 4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed through a press
1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tsp. curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger or 1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. lemon zest, minced
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, minced
1 cup water, or more as needed
1 cup red wine
2 cups canned plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
3 Tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar
2 cups dried fruits: mix of apricots, prunes, raisins, and/or cranberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped and divided in half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heat olive oil in bottom of 4 to 5
quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven. Brown cubes of lamb in oil, in
batches, remove lamb to plate. Add onions to pot, scraping up brown
bits and stirring. When softened, add crushed garlic; stir to
incorporate, then add carrots. Cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add curry,
salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, lemon zest, cayenne or
pepper flakes, and rosemary. Stir to mix in well, then add water
and wine. Raise heat and let the liquids bubble. Lower heat, then
add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and the lamb cubes. Add dried
fruits, the lemon juice, and the almonds. Adjust seasonings to
taste, adding more water if the stew seems too thick. Add 1/2 cup
of cilantro, cover pot, and place in oven for 75 to 90 minutes.
From time to time, check stew, adding water as needed to keep it
moist. When lamb is tender and dried fruits have softened almost
enough to become part of the sauce, remove from oven and stir in
remaining cilantro. Let stew rest 5 minutes and serve.

Serve over mashed potatoes. Makes 6 servings.


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