Essence of Morocco Lamb Shoulder Crockpot

Long slow simmers are no secret to amazing tender lamb, eastern cult      ures have been slow cooking lamb for centuries with spices and fruit in hot clay pots, called Tajines.  The crockpot is a terrific alternative.  Substitute turmeric for the saffron, or use a little of both, for an aromatic perfect lamb dish … taste bud bliss alert.

Ingredients List:

1 3-4lb (1.5-2kg) SUNGOLD boneless lamb shoulder
2 TB (25ml) olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 yellow onions, chopped coarsely
2 tsp (10ml) saffron threads, or 1 Tbsp (15ml) turmeric
3 cardamom pods or 1 tsp (5ml) ground cardamom
1 small cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp (5ml) ground cinnamon)
1 tsp (5ml) fresh grated or ground ginger
½ tsp (2ml) ground white pepper
1 cup (250ml) white wine (or increase broth accordingly)
3 cups (750ml) chicken broth
1 cup (250ml) dried whole apricots
1 cup (250ml) dried pitted prunes
1 TB (15ml) cornstarch
Hot couscous, quinoa or rice for 4-6 servings

Preparation & Directions:

  • Set a large crock pot on medium  
  • Remove net around lamb shoulder, if necessary
  • In a large skillet, heat oil and brown shoulder on both sides, place in crock pot
  • Into skillet add garlic & onions and sauté until slightly soft, add spices and cook, stirring for 1 min
  • Add spice mixture, wine, broth and dried fruit to lamb
  • Simmer for 3 hours
  • Remove lamb shoulder to a large platter; spoon fruit over lamb, and cover tightly with foil
  • Pour liquid into a large bowl or glass measuring cup and place in freezer for 10-15 min
  • Skim fat from top of juice
  • Pour juices into a saucepan, and whisk in cornstarch
  • Stir until glossy and somewhat thickened – this is a sauce, not gravy consistency
  • Slice lamb shoulder, serve over hot couscous with juices and cooked fruit


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Time: 20 minute prep
4 hours cooking

Serves: 4 to 6 generous servings

Serve Sugg: Hot couscous, cool salad of cucumber, mint & yogurt