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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.

Yield: serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 lb. 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
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 12 tsp. hot paprika
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 18 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 14 cup tomato puree
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3 fresh quinces
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 14 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 14 lb. fresh small okra, tops pared
  • Pinch saffron threads

Instructions

  1. Stir lamb, grated onion, olive oil, saffron, ginger, paprika, cilantro, parsley, garlic, and 1½ tsp. salt in large pot over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add tomato puree 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.

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