Braised Moroccan Lamb Chops
Tender lamb chops pair naturally with the spices common to Moroccan cuisine. Simmer them just until tender in this fragrant braise, then serve them over a bed of fluffy couscous to soak up all the juices.
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) all-purpose flour
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 lb. (2 kg) lamb shoulder chops, each about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) beef broth
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./235 g) green olives, pitted if desired
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) minced fresh mint
On a large plate, stir together the flour and 1 tsp. salt. Coat the lamb chops evenly with the flour mixture, shaking off the excess; reserve the remaining flour mixture. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Working in batches, sear the lamb chops, turning once, until browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a slow cooker.
Pour off all but about 1 Tbs. fat from the fry pan and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the cumin, paprika and reserved flour mixture and sauté briefly, just until fragrant. Pour in the broth and lemon juice. Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the pan bottom. Pour the contents of the pan over the lamb.
Cover and cook on the high setting for 3 to 4 hours or the low setting for 6 to 8 hours. The lamb should be very tender. About 1 hour before the lamb is done, add the olives. When the lamb is ready, transfer it to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Skim any fat from the surface of the braising liquid. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the mint. Spoon the sauce over the lamb and serve. Serves 6 to 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma One Pot of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2012)