Mrouzia (Lamb Tagine With Honey, Almonds and Apricots)
3 lbs. lamb shoulder or neck, trimmed of fat and cut into 2 1/2 inch cubes
2 tablespoon Mrouzia Spice
Pinch saffron (may substitute ½ tsp Turmeric)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cups chicken broth
2 cups dried apricots, roughly chopped, (also excellent with raisins)
1 1/2 cups almonds, whole and blanched
3/4 cup honey
1 cup carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped.
In a bowl combine the Mrouzia spice, saffron and water and mix well. Add the meat and rub in the paste, coating evenly. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In a Dutch oven or other heavy pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and cinnamon sticks and cook until the onions are translucent and the mixture is fragrant. Next, add the marinated meat to the pot and chicken stock to cover the meat. Bring to a boil, and skim off any coating that appears. Then, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring from time to time. Add water if the pot becomes too dry. Stew until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the apricots, almonds, honey, carrots, and simmer, covered. Stir often to prevent scorching, until the meat is very soft and almost falling apart, about 30 minutes longer. (If it is too soupy, uncover and simmer to reduce the sauce to a syrupy glaze.) Finally, stir in the chopped parsley and transfer to a warmed serving dish. Serve immediately with couscous.