Lamb with Prunes and Raisins


serves 4
1 kg (2 lb) leg or shoulder of lamb, boned
30 ml (2 tbsp) flour
45 ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
1 Spanish onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) powdered turmeric
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) powdered saffron
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cinnamon
a large pinch of ground ginger
a large pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
375 ml (13 fl oz) light chicken stock (made with 1 stock cube)
15 ml (1 tbsp) honey
225 g (8 oz) dried prunes, soaked in water at least 2 hours and drained
75 g (3 oz) raisins, soaked in water at least 2 hours and drained
boiled rice, to serve
thin lemon slices, to garnish
flat-leaved parsley, to garnish


1. Trim all the fat from the lamb and cut the meat into 4 cm (1 1/2 in) cubes. Toss the lamb in the flour.

2. In a large flameproof casserole heat the olive oil, and saute the lamb, stirring occasionally, until it is brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Add the sliced onion to the casserole and saute, stirring continuously, until it is golden brown. Then add the finely chopped garlic and spices, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Stir and saute for 5 minutes before gradually adding the chicken stock. Bring to the boil.

4. Return the meat the the casserole; lower the heat and simmer the stew very gently, covered, for 40-50 minutes, or until the lamb is almost tender.

5. Stir in the honey, the soaked prunes, and the raisins, and cook covered for a further 10 minutes until the lamb is tender. Serve hot on a bed of plain boiled rice, garnished with lemon slices and flat-leaved parsley.

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