Spicy Lamb and Apricot Stew + 1

“What is the old fool on about now?” “What’s with the +1?” I can hear you thinking to yourself. Give me a chance to explain. We have all heard people saying “It tasted even better the second day”. At least you should have heard that if you ever made a decent curry or spiced stew. If you haven’t been subjected to such praise, perhaps you don’t know how to cook in the first place. Then all the better for you because I am suggesting that when you cook this delightful spicy lamb and apricot stew, you leave it for 24 hours, reheat and enjoy. It really is so much the better for the day of melding flavours.

So many of us are now cooking every meal of the week in our own kitchens, it can be a real bonus to get stuck in and prepare a stew that will be delicious in 24 hours. If you put the effort in today, you can take it easier on yourself tomorrow by only having to reheat the stew. You could do what we did. It turned out to be a bit of a comparative test. We had it two days in a row and guess what? “It tasted even better the second day.” Enough of my waffle. Here’s the ingredients:


  • 1 leg of lamb*
  • 3 large onions
  • 8 cm piece of root ginger
  • 1/2 bulb of garlic (or 3 single garlic bulbs)
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons of flour for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of hot paprika
  • 2 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 300 gms or so of semi-dried apricots

* Just now, we all are at home, scratching ourselves. While we are at home, the lamb producers of Ireland have been suffering from a collapse in demand and prices too. That is not good but, we should help where we can by buying a leg. We have the time to learn a bit of butchery skills. It is not difficult to debone the leg, trim it and get a load of lovely meat. 

Proof, if you need it that I did the deboning myself.

Having a good boning knife makes this process easy. The meat from the leg is succulent, and lean. It makes for a lovely stew that doesn’t take days to cook (only to mature).

The lamb meat is a lovely colour too.

Dust the lamb, in a big bowl, with the flour.

Don’t be shy with the flour. There is a lot of meat to cover.

Get your hands in there and toss it to cover the meat.  Then brown the meat in batches in a large casserole dish.

Lovely coated meat. The browning adds a delicious depth of flavour.

Chop the onions into pieces about the same size as the lamb (generous). Sweat these down in the casserole, once the meat is all browned and reserved. Chop and add the ginger and garlic to the onions when they are about halfway to translucent.

Keep it chunky. The onions will largely melt away in the cooking anyway.

When the onions are translucent, add back the lamb. Queue a pouring shot…..

I managed to get most of it into the pot on this pour.

Add the seasoning ingredients. I actually shot seven pouring shots. I won’t bore you with them all. The turmeric is my favourite.

So much flavour. It will need the extra day to meld.

Give the dish a good stir to combine all the ingredients before pouring in the stock. Stir some more before placing the casserole in a 180ºC (360ºF) oven for 2 hours.

Look at those colours. How could it be anything but tasty?

After an hour in the oven add and stir in the apricots.

The dish really benefits from the sweetness of the apricots.

You can reheat it the following day. Or, you could do as we did and have it both days, remarking on day the second “Do you know, it’s true what they say, it tastes even better the second day.”

Serve it with the carbohydrate of your own choosing. We enjoyed it with rice one day and potatoes the next. There was even enough for a third round. But, that’s for another day. Enjoy.

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