Lamb, Quince, and Okra Tagine
Quince is an autumn fruit. If you can't wait until fall to make this stew, you might substitute tart green apples, though they're not traditional.
2 lbs. lean boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of fat and
cut into 6 pieces
3 medium red onions, peeled; 1 grated, 2 finely chopped
3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch saffron threads
1 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄2 tsp. hot paprika
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
18 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1⁄4 cup tomato purée
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
3 large fresh quinces
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. sugar
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1⁄4 lbs. fresh small okra, tops pared
1. Stir lamb, grated onion, olive oil, saffron, ginger, paprika, cilantro, parsley, garlic, and 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt in large pot over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add tomato purée and 1 cup water; raise heat, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, turning meat occasionally. Add chopped onions, jalapeño, and cumin, and simmer 45 minutes more.
2. Meanwhile, cut each quince into 6 pieces, leaving skin on, and cut away core. Poach in 4 cups simmering, salted water in a skillet over medium heat until just tender, about 10 minutes. Pour off all but 2–3 tbsp. poaching liquid; add butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Cook quinces flesh-side-down until glazed brown, about 20 minutes. Turn, and glaze 5 minutes more.
3. Add okra to lamb, cover, and cook until okra is tender and sauce is thick, 15–20 minutes. Garnish with quinces.