Okra (Lady fingers) stew with Lamb Shoulder

Serves 8 – 10 

You will need: 

3 kg of Lamb shoulder
1.5 kg of fresh Okra (frozen works as well)
3 medium sized yellow Onions
1 Garlic knob
1 large green Bell Pepper
2 cubes of organic vegetable stock cubes
3 tbsp Tomato paste
2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
4 Red Thai Chili Peppers
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika powder
2 tspn Turmeric powder
0,5 gr Saffron powder
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 dried Persian limes
The juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp Agave Honey
6 Cardamom pods
3 Bay leaves 
Salt and Pepper

PREPARATION: 

  1. Ask your local butcher to cut the lamb shoulder into 6 cm sized cubes. 
  2. Remove 1 kg of the 3 kg lamb and place in a pot of warm water. 
  3. As the water begins to boil, froth will appear on the surface- remove froth until the meat stops excreting it. img_4286
  4. Add salt, pepper, 1 halved yellow onion, 3 halved garlic cloves, the cardamom pods, 1 cinnamon stick, and the bay leaves. Cook on low heat for about 45 minutes. You want the meat to release its fat and flavor so that you will have a delicious and savory stock. 
  5. Meanwhile, take the remaining chunks of lamb, salt and pepper them, and start browning them in a well oiled pan. Remember not to crowd your pan so as to prevent the meat from bleeding too much and then interfering with the lamb getting a nice, brown, crispy surface. So, depending on the size of your pan, I would not place more than four pieces. 
  6. Once you are done with browning the meat, bring out your food processor and place the 2 onions (cut up into smaller pieces of course) the remainder of the peeled garlic cloves, the veggie bouillon cubes, the paprika powder, the Thai red chili peppers, and the turmeric. Semi smooth it into a paste- you still want some texture so that its not too mushy.
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  7. Bring out a large pot. I, for example, own a 10 litre pot. When I do make an Okra stew- I like to make large quantities of it and share with good friends. If you want to make a smaller amount, you can readjust the quantities of your ingredients so as to fit your preferred amount. 
  8. In the pot, add 4 tbsp of vegetable oil and wait till hot. Add half of the seasoned onion mixture and fry till its released its flavor and turned a little goldish brown. 
  9. Add the tomato paste and mix well into the fried onion mixture until you see the oil separating from the tomato/onion paste, then add the browned meat and mix well. 
  10. Add the lamb broth and the lamb that has been cooking in it into the big pot and stir well so as to mix all the ingredients.
  11. Add the tamarind paste, the cinnamon stick, and the dried limes. Let cook for another 40 minutes before adding the okra.
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  12. After the meat has been cooking for 40 minutes add the lime juice and the honey. The stew should be a good balance between sweet, spicy, sour, and tart and it should be a deep and strong red color!
  13. Finally, add the Okra (or lady fingers as some would call them) and let cook. You know the stew is ready when the Okra has released its gooeyness and is soft to chew. Try not to stir the stew too often once you have put in the Okra so that you dont completely mush the Okra (even if some like it that way- I am one of them).
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  14. Once the stew is done, you can eat it with a side of nice warm pita bread or with a side of fluffy Basmati rice. Enjoy this one guys. Its a good one! 

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