Lamb and Sweet Potato Pie
The sweet flavor of the prunes and the spices give this dish a Moroccan accent. It takes a little work to put together, but the results are worth it.
Martha Stewart Living, February 1998
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 pounds lean leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 3 cups Homemade Beef Stock Homemade Beef Stock (http://www.marthastewart.com/261559/homemade-beef-stock)
- 1 twenty-eight-ounce can whole Italian plum tomatoes
- 2 pieces star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks, about 3 inches long
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 12 ounces fresh spinach, (optional), washed
- 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
- 1/2 cup dried pitted prunes, cut in half
- Freshly grated nutmeg, for sprinkling
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss lamb pieces with the spice mixture to coat.
- In a Dutch oven or a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add lamb in two to three batches, in a single layer, and sear until dark brown on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil during searing if pan becomes dry. Remove the lamb pieces, and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium; add 1 tablespoon butter. Add onions and sugar; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, scraping up brown bits on bottom of pan while stirring the onion.
- Reduce heat to medium low, add minced garlic, and cook until brown and well caramelized, about 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Stir in stock, tomatoes, star anise, cinnamon sticks, carrots, remaining 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons coriander, 1 tablespoon ginger, remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and reserved lamb. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered, for about 1 hour, until lamb is tender and sauce is thick.
- Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until very tender when pierced with a fork. Drain potatoes, and return to saucepan. Dry potatoes over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Pass potatoes through a food mill into a medium bowl. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons butter; add salt to taste. Set aside, loosely covered.
- If using spinach, place in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, cover, and cook until wilted, about 1 1/2 minutes. Drain, and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
- Remove star anise and cinnamon sticks from the stew. Stir in cherries and prunes. Transfer mixture to a deep 2-quart casserole, and place a layer of spinach, if using, over the stew. Spoon the sweet potato mixture onto the stew. Place on a baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.
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