Cordero con Frutas Secas (Lamb Stew with Raisins and Apricots)

The most important part of my return home yesterday from the island was my discovery of a lovely 3-lb. hunk of New Zealand lamb shoulder at Whole Foods in Bellingham.  (I also found a pretty piece of pork belly, but I haven’t gotten to that yet.)

So, tonight, after dutifully working for several hours, posting all the readings for half of my Tufts course this Fall, I returned to my lamb friend and made my dinner.  The main dish was a lamb stew from Penelope Casas’ Spanish cookbook, Delicioso!

My only editorial adjustments were to add a few dried Zante currants to the dried apricots and raisins, and some freshly-ground raw cacao beans — subtle, but successful.  Here is the result:

Served atop Thai jasmine rice, accompanied by a salad of mixed greens and beefsteak tomatoes from the first farmer’s market of the season in town this morning, this was ample reward for my hard work.  One conclusion: lamb shoulder meat is incomparable in flavor and texture.

Since the origin of the dish is purported to be Eastern Spain, I selected a 2005 Priorat, Les Terrasses for the wine.  It was good, though it was still a bit closed to match well with the dried fruit of the stew.

Wish you were here to enjoy with me.  And maybe to do the dishes.

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