With sweet dried apricots, bright lemon, and fragrant spices, this braised lamb is the perfect way to bridge the gap between winter and spring.
I thought I was headed to Morocco with this recipe, but I took a wrong turn somewhere along the way and ended up somewhere closer to India. No matter, it was still delicious even if it wasn’t traditional. This recipe takes a little longer than most of my dinners, but it’s mostly inactive time. You probably won’t want to make it on a weeknight unless you don’t mind eating late (I’m ready for dinner at 5:30… which doesn’t usually work out well since I don’t get home until closer to 6!), but it’s the kind of recipe that can easily be made ahead of time and reheated when you’re ready for it. I made this on a Sunday with plans to eat it on Tuesday, and it was so nice to come home and not have to worry about cooking. I just moved the pot from the fridge to the stove and, in the time it took to boil some rice, dinner was ready.
I teamed up with RiceSelect™ to create this recipe, which is all about bringing global flavors to the dinner table. I was excited to work with them, since I’ve actually been buying their rice for a few years. It’s very affordable and I love that it comes in screw-top canisters rather than flimsy cardboard boxes – it’s easier to store, stays fresh longer, and I don’t have to worry about any potential creepy-crawlies getting into it (a recent battle with pantry moths left me extra-wary of how things are packaged.) I have their Jasmati®, Brown Texmati®, and Sushi Rice in my cabinet right now, and I’m almost never without their Royal Blend® Texmati Brown and Wild Rice.
I pair this braised lamb with the Jasmati, a long grain American-grown jasmine rice. Jasmati has a delicate, tender texture and subtle floral aroma that makes it perfect for pairing with curries and other richly-spiced dishes like this one.
- 1 pound Lamb Shoulder
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 Red Onion sliced
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cup Ground Tomatoes
- 1 can Chickpeas Garbanzo Beans, undrained
- 1 Lemon unpeeled, sliced into thin rounds
- 10 Dried Apricots quartered
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- ½ teaspoon Coriander
- ½ teaspoon Cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon Whole Cloves
- 1 cup RiceSelect Jasmati Rice
- 2 cups Water
- ¼ cup loosely packed Fresh Parsley chopped
- Trim the lamb and cut it into approximately 1-inch cubes.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium Dutch Oven or other heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook until browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Add the onion; cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan by pouring in the balsamic vinegar, which will loosen any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Stir in the next 8 ingredients (through the cloves). Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 60 minutes, or until lamb is fork-tender. Season with salt. Remove cover and simmer 15 minutes, or until liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.
- Combine rice and water in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Serve the braised lamb over the rice. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.