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.

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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.

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