- 2 to 3 pounds leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 pounds Spanish onion, peeled, small dice
- 2 pounds Pink Pearl or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced one inch
- 1 pound young spinach, washed, trimmed and torn into pieces
- 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 knob ginger, peeled and sliced thinly
- 4 Persian dried limes, crushed into pieces (available at Middle Eastern markets, or visit sadaf.com)
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 Navel oranges, zest removed and juiced
- 3 lemons, zest removed and juiced
- 10 cardamom pods, whole
- 6 tablespoons clarified butter
- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon powdered allspice
- dash cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300° F.
- In a large, heavy bottomed and oven-safe pot, melt the butter. Gently cook the onions over medium heat until they take on a light golden color.
- Add half of the diced apples, all the spices, orange and lemon zests and ginger, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the spices have blossomed.
- Season the lamb pieces generously with salt and pepper and add to the onion-spice mixture. Toss to make sure everything is mixed well.
- Add the lemon juice, orange juice and vinegar and reduce by half.
- Add enough water to the lamb and onion mixture to just barely cover it.
- Place the top on the pot and place in the oven at 300° F. (The rule of thumb for stews is 300 degrees for 3 hours.) Check for the tenderness of the lamb pieces after 2 1/2 hours. If the lamb has rendered too much liquid, ladle some of the liquid into a separate pot and reduce to your desired consistency, then add back to the stew.
- Toss the remainder of the cut apple and spinach with the stew and serve it with either rice or pasta.