LAMB TAGINE WITH LEMONS AND OLIVES
3 pounds lamb shoulder meat, boned-out
Pinch of pulverized saffron
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon sharp paprika
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Kosher salt to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup grated onion
1/4 cup mixed fresh parsley and cilantro, minced
2 cups finely minced onions
1 cup green-ripe or "red-brown" olives (Greek, Kalamata, Italian Gaetas)
2 preserved lemons, quartered and rinsed
Juice of one lemon
Cut the meat into 1 1/2 inch chunks removing fat and connective tissue as needed. Set aside. Soak the saffron in a small amount of hot water in the bottom of a casserole. Add the spices, 1 teaspoon salt, oil and grated onion to the casserole. Toss the lamb pieces in this mixture to coat thoroughly.
Gently saute the lamb until lightly browned turning the pieces frequently. Add one cup of water, cover and cook slowly for one hour, adding water as needed to keep the meat pieces from sticking. Add the minced herbs and onions, cover the pot and cook until the meat is quite tender.
While the lamb is simmering, rinse and pit the olives. Remove the pulp from two lemons, quarter and rinse the skin. Set this aside.
Ten minutes before serving time, remove the meat from the pan to a serving dish. Add the lemon juice, lemon peel and olives to the liquids in the casserole and reduce over high heat to 1 1/2 cups. Season to taste and pour the juices over the lamb arranging the olives and lemon pieces as garnish.
Serve immediately with couscous.