Quince & Lamb stew
Goodness me what a delight it was to make this stew today. What an intense flavour of quince and the sourness of the apricots come through, balanced perfectly well with the addition of the light brown sugar.
The spices are light and don't smack the taste buds but leave a quintessential essence of what Persian food is about, subtle and memorable on the palate. Another stew well suited for this autumnal season.
1 large quince
1 onion (diced)
dry sour apricots soaked in water
1/4 cup oil
4 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp turmeric
300 g cubed lamb or 2 medium sized lamb shanks
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp saffron
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tomato puree
2 cups water
Finely chop the onion and fry in a pot with 1/4 cup oil until golden brown
Once the onions have turned golden brown, add the turmeric and stir for 30 seconds
Add the salt, pepper and cinnamon and give a quick 10 second stir
If you're using lamb pieces chop your lamb into 1/2 inch cubes
Add the lamb cubes or lamb shank to the fried onions and spices.
Fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes and then add the tomato puree.
Fry for another 5 minutes
Add the dry apricots
Add 2 cups of cold water to the pot and increase the heat.
Allow to boil for 10 minutes.
Reduce the heat, add the saffron and sugar and cover the top of the pot.
Leave on medium to low heat until the meat is tender, the water has reduced to half and has a thicker consistency to it.
In a separate pot add 1/4 cup of oil and the washed, skinned, cleaned and chopped (1/2 inch cubes) quince. (you can make them smaller by cutting them in half again if you prefer)
Fry the quince cubes until golden brown in colour.
Remove from the heat and set aside.
Once the lamb has cooked add the quince and 1 cup of cold water to the pot.
Increase the heat for 10 minutes then reduce for another 5 to 10 minutes or until your stew has thickened again and the flavour of the quince has infused with the lamb.
Enjoy with lovely saffron rice.