1 - 1.5 hours
I can't say that autumn and winter are my favourite seasons... but I do love any excuse to prepare and serve stews and other comfort food fare. The prep time is usually minimal and then you can sit back and relax with a glass of wine while the stews cook slowly, releasing their delicious aroma throughout the kitchen.
This Moroccan inspired stew is so easy to prepare and it will bring a little sunshine to your table with its vibrant colour and fragrant spices. Leave out the lamb and add some carrot and sweet potatoes to create a vegetarian version – just remember to add the sweet potato about 30 minutes into the cooking. If you want a touch of sweetness, a handful of dried apricots or raisins are wonderful in this dish.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large casserole and add all the spices. Stir together for a minute over medium heat.
Add the chopped onion and garlic and sweat for about 10 minutes over low heat until softened.
Add the diced lamb and a splash more oil if needed and brown the meat for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and chickpeas and stir to incorporate. Season with salt and pepper.
Finally, add the butternut squash and stock and bring to the boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer, partly cover the pot leaving a gap for stem to escape and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally.
The stew is ready when the sauce is quite thick and the squash is fork tender. If the sauce is still too watery, cook for a while longer. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with couscous.