Monday, January 24, 2011

I recently moved to a new neighbourhood and already I have discovered two small shops where I plan to go every Saturday from now on.
One shop is a bakery. I saw a small crowd inside, which made me curious. It smelled lovely in there and it was very warm from the ovens burning. On the counter there were different cakes and breads, it was difficult to choose. Best of all: the ingredients are all ecological.
And the other day I was pleasantly surprised to find a Moroccan supermarket, with all types of vegetables including rare ones, like Jerusalem artichokes (NL: aardperen). It also had a butcher's counter, where I bought some lamb. And I made this:

Middle Eastern lamb stew
(serves 4)

1 kg lamb (lamb shoulder, or leg of lamb without the bone), cut in large chunks
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons ras-el-hanout (Moroccan spice mix)

* put the lamb meat in a bowl and add oil and spices
* stir so all the meat is covered, and place in the fridge overnight

next day:
equipment: a casserole (NL: stoofpan) with a lid

* preheat the oven to 150 C
* heat some olive oil in the pan, and fry the meat. it's very important to only fry a few chunks (depending on your size of pan, around 6-8 chunks) at a time so they get nice and brown
* put the chunks you have fried in a bowl, and continue to fry all chunks of meat

olive oil
2 large white onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves (NL: laurierblaadjes)

* put the onion in the pan you used to fry the meat. fry on a low heat for 5 minutes
* add garlic and continue to fry for 1 minute, then add the meat. cover with water and put in 2 bay leaves.
* bring to a boil and place in the oven and leave it there for 2 hours

100 g dried plums, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons of honey

* place the pan on the stove again, and stir in the plums and honey
* continue to cook for half an hour, without the lid
* serve with for example couscous and grilled vegetables

This stew was really even better than I expected, and I would really recommend it.