I came up with this for our Passover Seder. Epicurious had a lamb shank recipe with Guajillo-Pineapple Sauce. It sounded interesting but I wasn’t about to make lamb shanks for 15 people so I knew that I needed to alter it. Roasting a piece of lamb is good but since we keep kosher a leg of lamb is out, as is a loin roast. Plus roasting can be dicey timing wise and during the seder I don’t have time to baby a roast so we tend to go with stew. It can cook for hours and still be delicious.
Now that I had the cooking method down it was time to play with the flavor profile. That is one of my favorite parts. The original recipe called for a lot of chili peppers and not a lot of other flavors. Some cinnamon, cumin and orange juice. To me it had the beginnings of a mojo so I ran with that idea. Jeff helped me out a bit with the defining characteristics of a mojo. A classic Cuban mojo has sour orange, garlic, salt, pepper, and oregano or cumin. I don’t have sour oranges but you can substitute a mixture of orange and lime juice which is what I did. Since this wasn’t going to be true mojo I added a few other things to the mix: honey, brown sugar, poblano pepper, onion, and shallot. I let the meat marinate overnight. I seared it all off in a bit of olive oil, deglazed the pan with some water and dumped it all into the stew pot. Added roughly chopped peppers in a variety of colors (green, orange, yellow and red), carrots, onions, shallots, garlic, and celery and let it cook for a few hours. Along the way I added more honey and brown sugar along with crushed pineapples. Towards the end of the stew’s cooking I added a huge handful of chopped fresh cilantro, some halved tomatoes, more chopped peppers and some more pineapple.
Not only did it smell delicious, it tasted delicious!
The recipe (as best as I can remember it)
Pineapple Lamb Stew
1 piece lamb shoulder (boneless and untrimmed) – 4 – 5 pounds
1 package lamb neck pieces – 2 pounds
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
juice of two oranges
juice of two limes
1/2 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 handful minced fresh sage
1 – 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 – 2 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz crushed pineapple and juice
1/2 of each: red pepper, yellow pepper, orange pepper and green pepper. Seeded and chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 -2 cloves garlic, minced
1 -2 ribs celery, chopped
1 – 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tablesp0ons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
5 – 6 Campari or Plum tomatoes cut in half
large handful chopped fresh cilantro
4 oz crushed pineapple (no juice)
handful of assorted chopped peppers
Cut the lamb into 1 inch pieces and place in a large flat container that has a cover and can be refrigerated. Mix next 10 ingredients in a small bowl. Once combined, pour over all the lamb. Be sure that all the lamb is covered with the mixture. Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and begin searing the lamb. Sear each piece on all sides until nicely browned. Remove to the stew pot. Continue until all the meat is seared, adding oil as necessary.
When all the meat is seared, add a 1/2 cup – 1 cup of water to the pan and begin scraping the pan drippings. Bring this to a boil and let reduce until it is reduced by at least half. Then add that to the stew pot.
Add the carrots, celery, peppers, onions, shallots and garlic and stir. Add the additional honey and brown sugar. Cook over low heat for at least two hours. After that add the fresh cilantro, tomatoes, pineapple and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Let cook another thirty minutes.
This would be wonderful served with rice. Since we had it for Passover, I served it with a Quinoa Pilaf and Sauteed Julienned Golden and Red Beets.