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Moroccan Lamb and Fruit Stew
3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds well trimmed, boneless leg of lamb cut into 1- to 1-1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
2 large onions, chopped
1 to 2 teaspoons crushed dried red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 14-1/2-ounce can beef broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons cold water
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried apricots
Hot, cooked couscous (or rice)
1/4 cup toasted, slivered almonds
Orange peel curl (optional)
In a shallow mixing bowl combine crushed red pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and salt. Coat meat with seasoning mixture. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown meat, one-third at a time, in the hot oil. Transfer meat to a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Add onions and garlic; stir to combine. Pour beef broth over all.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Skim fat from the surface of the juices in the slow cooker. Stir cornstarch into the cold water; stir into slow cooker.
Add dates and apricots; stir to combine. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Cover and cook for 30 minutes more or until mixture is slightly thickened and bubbly.
To serve, spoon stew atop hot couscous or rice. Top with almonds. If desired, garnish with orange peel curls. Makes 6 to 8 servings. Make-ahead tip: Toast almonds up to 2 days ahead. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
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