Aromatic Braised Lamb with Prunes and Pine Nuts
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup water
- One 1-inch strip of lemon zest, minced
- Pinch of ground clove
- Pinch of ground ginger
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil.
- Add half of the lamb, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat until browned on 2 sides, about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining lamb.
- Add the garlic and onion to the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, 5 minutes.
- Stir in the wine, 1/2 cup of water, lemon zest, cloves and ginger.
- Return the lamb to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer over low heat until very tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, in a heatproof bowl, cover the prunes with the boiling water.
- Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the prunes with their cooking liquid and the carrots to the stew.
- Cover and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
- In a medium skillet, cook the pine nuts over moderate heat, shaking the pan a few times, until the nuts are toasted, about 4 minutes.
- Let cool.
- Season the stew with salt and pepper and spoon into bowls.
- Sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts and serve.