I love the flavors of this recipe because they somehow seem as if they have been marinated for days instead of just hours. Lamb has a powerful flavor on its own and I find, with the right blend of spices, that it tastes like an even better version of itself. I use lamb shoulder or leg meat for this recipe. This is a simple marinade, rubbed on the meat and left overnight is a great foundation for this Moroccan lamb stew. The grated onions cooked with the lamb add body to the sauce. I try not to make this if I am in a hurry to eat it. If you have the luxury of time, marinate it Monday, cook it Tuesday, and eat it Wednesday! The anticipation…
Marinate the meat: In a small bowl, combine the caraway, coriander, cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, cloves, ginger and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil then grate in the garlic. Place the cut lamb on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dollop half of the marinade on top. Turn the meat over and dollop with the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.
Make the vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, simmer the raisins, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard seeds, orange juice, lemon juice and 1 cup water until the liquid is reduced by a little more than half and the mustard seeds are tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Whisk the vinegar mixture with the olive oil if using.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook the lamb: Heat the canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, sprinkle the marinated meat with kosher salt and stir to combine. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, add the lamb pieces in a single layer and brown on all sides, adding a pinch of salt halfway through, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in the onions and their juices, add a pinch of salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beef stock. Place the skillet in the center of the oven and cook until the meat is practically falling apart, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Taste for seasoning. Allow the stew to sit on the stove and rest off the heat for 10 to 15 minutes before topping with the vinaigrette and serving.