Warm flavours for cold nights


stewing lamb 1 kg, fat or lean, cubed
onions 2, finely chopped
salt and pepper (black, cayenne and paprika), use in moderation, to taste
fresh coriander or parsley 1 bunch, finely chopped
powdered saffron ¼ tsp (optional)
ground ginger ½ tsp
quinces 250-750g, cut in half and cored but not peeled (you may prefer to use less fruit the first time you try this dish. Some people prefer to soften the taste of quince with a little sugar)
butter 60g (optional)


Put the cubed meat and 1 chopped onion in a large saucepan. Cover with water and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Moroccans use a variety of peppers, including paprika and cayenne, adding them with a light hand.) Add fresh coriander or parsley, saffron if used and ginger, bring to the boil and simmer gently, covered, until the meat is tender and the onion has practically disintegrated in the sauce. This takes about 1 hour.
Now add the other chopped onion and cook until soft. Half an hour before serving, add the quinces and cook until only just tender. The quinces may have been sauteed in butter first for a richer flavour.
Pears or apples (peeled and cored), dates and raisins or prunes (soaked overnight) may be used instead of the quinces, sometimes in combinations. They all make rather luxurious dishes.
Chicken is also delicious cooked in this way.

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