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 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
- 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 puree
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- 1⁄2 tsp. ground cumin
- 3 fresh quinces
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 1⁄4 lb. fresh small okra, tops pared
- Pinch saffron threads
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.
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.
Add okra to lamb, cover, and cook until okra is tender and sauce is thick, 15-20 minutes. Garnish with quinces.