Moroccan Saffron Lamb

We were getting food from a moroccan food cart this winter and I was standing in the rain as they prepared our food. Mohamed, chef poured some hot soup into a cup for me to warm me up and it was the most delicious fragrant lamb stew! I asked him if I might have a serving of it to go and he laughed. He told me that was his supper, not for sale. I became obsessed. Looking online I was able to find a recipe that came close to the pleasure of that rainy night. This is what I have been making to sooth my cravings for moroccan lamb stew.

It is possible to use other cuts of meat, but the lamb arm chop is inexpensive and has a bone with marrow, so flavors the stew richly.


4-6 lamb arm chops

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped in a food processor

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 tablespoons butter or fat if you are strictly dairy free (we used lamb fat stored in our freezer from the last roast lamb)

1 small bunch cilantro, tied into a bouquet

water for stewing

chopped cilantro for garnish

1 - Mix the meat with the garlic, ginger, turmeric, saffron, and pepper.  Add the butter or fat to the pan and brown the seasoned meat over medium heat, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes turning so that it is evenly browned on both sides. Don't allow the butter to burn.

2- Put the browned meat into the slow cooker or a braising pan.. Add the cilantro and about 3 cups of water – enough to come up the sides of the meat but not enough to fully cover it. Cover the pot and bring to a boil

3- When the liquids are boiling, reduce the heat to medium and continue simmering, covered, for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until the lamb is tender and can be pulled from the bone. Check the level of water occasionally, adding water if needed to avoid scorching. When the lamb tests done, leave the pot uncovered and reduce the liquids until they thicken.

4- Discard the cilantro and serve with cilantro sprinkled on top.  Serve with cauliflower rice, a cucumber salad, or just eat with a spoon until you smile.