Braised Lamb with Spinach
- 8 garlic clove
- 1 (1 1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh gingerroot
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
- 7 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup chopped drained canned tomatoes
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 pounds fresh spinach, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and drained
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted lightly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a heavy kettle heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking and in it brown the lamb, patted dry, in batches, transferring it as it is browned with tongs to a bowl.
To the skillet add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and in it fry the cinnamon stick, the cloves, and the bay leaf, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until the cloves are puffed slightly. Add the onions and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden. Add the garlic puree and cook the mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is evaporated. Add the cumin, the coriander, and the cayenne and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and the yogurt, simmer the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute, and add the lamb, the salt, and enough water to come half-way up the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil and braise it, covered, until the lamb is tender, about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Remove cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaf. The lamb mixture may be prepared up to this point 2 days in advance. Let the lamb cool, uncovered, and then chill it, covered. Reheat the lamb mixture.
Spoon off any excess fat from the lamb mixture and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste. Distribute the spinach over the stew and stir it in gently. Transfer the stew to a heated serving dish and sprinkle it with the pine nuts.