French Fridays with Dorie: Braised Cardamom-Curry Lamb

This week, for French Fridays with Dorie, there’s another main dish on deck. This time, it’s a one-pot dinner, my favorite kind of thing: braised cardamom-curry lamb.

This hearty stew was perfect for the cold snap that just arrived. The curry flavors in this stew aren’t ones I usually cook with, but I liked the variety it added to the week’s meals.

After the deception I tried to pull with last week’s soup, I didn’t think I would be able to sneak most of the fruity ingredients into the lamb stew. Miraculously, Howard does eat figs, dried or fresh, but I knew the raisins and apples were out. I had to come up with a different plan.

When making stews, I will typically halve the meat and double the vegetables that the recipe calls for. For this recipe, I started with about 2 pounds of lamb shoulder chops I had from our meat CSA. There were more bones than I expected, so I ended up with only about one pound of lamb cubes. As a substitute for the apples, I used a butternut squash cut into one-inch cubes and left out the potatoes.

With its braising time of over an hour plus prep time, this recipe is definitely not after-work-weeknight cooking. I ended up making it last night, but we didn’t eat it yet.. The steps were straightforward, though there was a lot of chopping. First, onions and garlic were slowly cooked with curry and cardamom until they softened. Then, the cubes of lamb were stirred in until lightly browned. Water, honey, figs, mint, and squash were added and then braised in a tightly covered Dutch oven until tender, about an hour for me.

I keep calling this a stew, but braise is more accurate. The meat and vegetables were tender like a stew, but there wasn’t much liquid left in the pot. I tasted a few bites of lamb, squash, and liquid, before I put this away last night. I liked the warm, spicy flavors from the curry and sweet vegetables. We’ll have this for dinner tonight, and I plan serve it over egg noodles with a green salad on the side.

If you’d like to see how other versions of braised lamb came out, check out the links of other creative bloggers’ posts at French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table.

I want to wish a happy Thanksgiving to all my FFwD friends and their loved ones. One of the many things I’m thankful for this year is the opportunity to meet (virtually, anyway) so many other cooks that share my passion for food and cooking. I’m enriched by the experience.

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Posted on 18 November 2011, in Autumn, Farmers Market, French Fridays with Dorie, Meat CSA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Looks great, do you really have to wait before you can eat this? Good luck and have a nice weekend.

  2. Oh boy, that looks like a lot of work to get all that lamb off its bone. I really need to get my knives sharpened. I’d still be sawing away, if I tried to do that. I found a package of pre-chunked lamb meat at the store, so I avoided that problem.

    Enjoy your dinner tonight!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!

  3. Oh, yours looks terrific! I love your idea of the squash. I thought about it, but then just followed along with the recipe… I ended up adding some coconut milk, just to enhance the sauce. I did make mine after work too… a bit of a late evening! Glad you liked yours!!!

  4. Actually, I thought our stew tasted better the next day, so I think you are in for a treat at dinner tonight. Squash sounds like it would be a great addition, hopefully your husband agrees :-)

    And Happy Thanksgiving to you too. It’s my very favorite holiday and I’m already looking forward to all the yummy food.

  5. I love your addition of squash – it looks nice & I’ll bet it tastes great.

  6. Great use of butternut squash to replace the potato and add sweetness. I smiled when you mention that you can’t sneak in all those sweet ingredients this week. Oh the lengths we go to make dishes for love ones! Hope it’ll be a delicious dinner for you tonight.

  7. Betsy…your braised lamb looks delish ! Adding squash to it makes it even more delicious :) Have a nice weekend!

  8. I like the substitutions you made. And while I am not a curry lover, this does looks amazing. I did not participate this week but thankfully when I do, our grocery store does cut the meat for you, so one less thing I have to worry about chopping.

  9. Your substitutions look great…love the squash. I think I would add it in addition to the apples. This dish looks delicious…will have to give it a try! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  10. I love the substitution of butternut squash! Made the dish far less sweet I am sure (a good thing, imo.)

  11. What a perfect substitution for the apples because the butternut squash is sweet. I loved this over egg noodles and hope you enjoyed it. I liked it even more as leftovers because it allowed the flavors to meld even more. I hope you and Howard have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Betsy! I also am so thankful for meeting you and the rest of the group this past year. Have a great weekend!

  12. how interesting! I think that the extra meat would add extra jus,… I used the amount it asked for and wound up with more jus than I anticipated, kind of the opposite problem you had :) It looks delicious!!

  13. I love all your butternut squash. Makes this dish more seasonal. I’m finding that many people don’t care for sweet with meats…except for the sweetness of a BBQ. Personally I like sweet with just about anything, but even more I like lots of veges…to me the best part. When I saw all your squash it got my thinking going and I would like to make a dish similar to yours. Great ideas…thanks.

  14. I like the idea of butternut squash. I didn’t fess up to the dried figs until my husband bit into one and said “what was that!?”.

    Have a great Thanksgiving! I’ll have to say I especially miss home this time of year. We always have my husbands family & friends over for the big meal. They love the cornbread stuffing and pumpkin cheesecake. But, I miss being in the kitchen with my Mom.

  15. I hope after you got to eat it that it was delicious…it certainly looks like it was.

  16. It looks wonderful and substituting butternut squash for apple would work really well – keeping the sweetness, while avoiding the fruit + meat dilemma for your husband. You get such lovely goods from your CSA. The lamb shoulder chops look amazing.

  17. Your braised lamb curry looks gorgeous, Betsy, and like everyone else, I agree that the butternut squash was a brilliant substitute for the apples, potatoes and raisins! Hope you guys enjoyed it (especially Howard).

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  18. We ended up using sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. I thought it made it perfect for this time of year. I probably changed more of this recipe than I followed, but it all seemed to work. Happy Thanksgiving!

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