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I strongly suggest to make this a day in advance as the flavors will intensify greatly, the dried chili flakes are only optional you may omit if desired or adjust to suit heat level -- please do not omit the currents and cinnamon stick they add to the flavor of this stew :)
- 3 lbs boneless lamb, cut into bite-size pieces (leg or shoulder)
- 4 -6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried red chili pepper flakes (optional or to taste)
- 1 (5 ounce) can tomato paste
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup dry red wine (can use a little more wine)
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup currants
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 -2 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- salt & fresh ground pepper (to taste)
- In a food processor or blender process the tomatoes with juice until smooth; set aside.
- Place the currants in a heat-proof bowl; cover with very hot water and set aside while browning the lamb.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
- Season the lamb with salt and ground black pepper; add to the oil and brown on both sides; remove the lamb to a plate or bowl.
- Add in onions and cook stirring for about 5 minutes adding in the garlic and red chili flakes the last 2 minutes of cooking.
- Add in tomato paste and bay leaf; cook stirring for 1 minute.
- Return the lamb with all the juices that have accumulated in the bowl back to the pot.
- Drain the water from the currants.
- Add in the pureed tomatoes, currants and all remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil stirring over medium heat.
- Reduce heat to very low and simmer uncovered for about 1-1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender.
- About halfway through cooking season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
- Just before serving remove and discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf (if you are making this a day in advance refrigerate with the cinnamon stick and bay leaf left in).