Recipe for Moroccan lamb shoulder chops with chickpea, butternut squash, and potato stew

Serves 4

Lamb shoulder chops are often passed over for better known and more expensive loin chops. Shoulder chops are a delicious, tender cut with a price that makes cooking lamb affordable. Make the chickpea, butternut squash, and potato stew a day ahead and let the spice-rubbed chops marinate overnight beside it.

STEW

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Juice of 2 limes
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken stock
1 pound peeled, seedless
butternut squash, cut into
1-inch dice
½ pound baby Yukon Gold
potatoes, halved and cut into wedges
2 carrots, cut into 1-inch slices
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 stick cinnamon
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

1. In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice and honey; set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, heat the oil. Cook the onion, stirring often, for 8 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, and cumin. Cook 1 minute more. Add the stock, squash, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

3. Remove the cinnamon stick, and stir in the chickpeas and raisins. Continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in the mint and the honey mixture.

LAMB

2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 lamb shoulder chops (about
2½ pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (for garnish)

1. In a bowl, mix together salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne.

2. With paper towels, pat the lamb dry. Cut slashes in the curve of the fat side so the chops do not curl up when cooking. Sprinkle both sides with the spice mix.

3. In a skillet large enough to hold the chops in one layer, heat the oil. Add the chops and cook without disturbing for 3 minutes. Turn and continue cooking for 3 minutes more or until the chops are medium rare. Cook 1 minute longer on a side for medium meat.

4. Divide the chickpea mixture among 4 shallow plates. Add a chop to each one and sprinkle with mint. Valerie R yan