After receiving the wonderful gift of free food (gift certificate to Whole Foods), we went on a little spree and bought some things that we’ve had on our mind but didn’t really fit into the normal weekly plan. Harissa, a Moroccan blend of roasted chili peppers and seasoning, had been on my mind for a while. We also saw some grass-fed lamb (shoulder roast) for a good price, and decided that the combination might be just a little bit awesome. Here’s what we came up with. I thought the dish was a little on the sweet side, so if you think you’d be sensitive to that, cut back on the honey and dates.


Harissa is flavorful and spicy, and the lamb is so tender.

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 tsp. ground tumeric
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2.5 lbs. grass-fed lamb roast (the shoulder roast we used was incredibly tender) cut into stew-sized chunks
  • 8 oz. pitted Medjool dates, chopped into large pieces
  • 1 Tbs. raw honey
  • 1/4 cup harissa (see the link at the bottom of the page for more info, including a recipe)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and cook until golden. Add the tumeric, cinnamon, and ginger; mix until combined. Add the lamb, mix again until the seasoning is well-distributed among the lamb. Add enough water to just cover the meat. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the dates, honey, harissa, salt and pepper (don’t be shy on the salt and pepper). Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Adapted from Jun-Blog.