I love lamb stew, but wanted to try something a bit different, so I created this recipe that uses Moroccan spices. It's a wonderful way to use lamb, and it's easy to make in the slow cooker. The stew tastes even better served a day or two later, when the flavors have really had a chance to meld. —Bridget Klusman, Otsego, Michigan
3 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
6 medium carrots, sliced
2 medium onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh gingerroot
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
2-1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup sweet vermouth
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, brown meat in 2 tablespoons oil in batches. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker.
In the Dutch oven, saute the carrots, onions, garlic and lemon zest in remaining oil until crisp-tender. Add the lemon juice, ginger, cinnamon, cumin and paprika; cook and stir 2 minutes longer. Add to slow cooker.
Stir in the broth, vermouth, honey and dates. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until lamb is tender. Sprinkle with almonds.
Stovetop option: Combine browned lamb and carrot mixture in Dutch oven. Stir in the broth, vermouth, honey and dates; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for about 1 hour or until lamb is tender.