December 11, 2012



The cold is settling in. Let’s warm up with the most foolproof lamb recipe of all time which is quick but slow and dreamy to prepare. The sequence of steps creates an epicurean chemistry between the few ingredients therein to please all senses. Sweet, floral quince sizzle in butter and fragrant spices waft all over the place while giving flavor to the delicate broth. Dates turn silky in the steam as they are draped over fork tender lamb and this dish rules. Don’t forget to finish off with salt and pepper to taste.

I love to serve this with a side of cous-cous made interesting with chopped fresh herbs, loads of olive oil and preserved lemon and bowl of harissa to truly turn up the heat..


(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 pounds quince*, peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces

3 tablespoons butter

2 pounds lamb shoulder, cubed and seasoned with salt and pepper

2 small onions, diced small

pinch cayenne

pinch turmeric (optional)

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup dates, pitted and quartered

salt and pepper

  • In a soup pot, saute the quince gently in the butter until golden and then remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Reserve.
  • Place lamb, 1/2 of the onion, cayenne, turmeric if using, cinnamon, saffron, ginger in the pot and just cover with water.
  • Bring to a simmer, season with a touch of salt and pepper and cook for 1 hour, partially covered, or until meat is tender. 
  • Add the remaining onion, quince and dates on top of the stew for an additional 10 minutes, or until all ingredients are just tender. Stir together. Season to taste and serve with rice, bread or cous cous. 

* If quince is unavailable, use crisp, sweet apples or pears.


  1. I’m sure this dish smells as intoxicating as it looks. This will be happening in my kitchen. Thanks!

  2. This is a great website. Ever consider writing a book? You should.

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