Classic shepherd's pie gets a Moroccan update with heady, aromatic spices in the filling and a garlicky whipped chickpea topping in place of the usual mashed potatoes.
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds lean boneless leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted chicken stock
2 garlic cloves
1 (15-ounce) can unsalted chickpeas, rinsed and drained
How to Make It
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add half of lamb to pan; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Remove lamb from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining lamb. Add onion and carrot to pan, and sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 4 teaspoons garlic, and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); sauté 30 seconds. Stir in wine; cook 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in lamb, 1 1/2 cups chicken stock, apricots, and raisins. Bring to a simmer; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon juice.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons chicken stock, 2 garlic cloves, and chickpeas in a mini food processor; process until smooth. Spoon 2/3 cup lamb mixture into each of 6 (7-ounce) ramekins. Top each serving with about 3 tablespoons chickpea mixture. Lightly coat chickpea mixture with cooking spray. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until tops begin to brown.
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You need to make this! We used a little bit less lamb (had a 3 lb bone-in lamb roast and only used half of the meat), but it was still plenty of meat. Didn't have enough garlic either, but it was still delicious. I put everything in one 8x8 square baking dish and then topped with the bean mixture (like you would with a traditional shepherd's pie's potatoes). Turned out fantastic and worth the time it takes to make!
A wonderful winter dish; savory with just a touch of sweet with the dried fruit. In addition to the dried apricots (CA, not Turkish), I used regular raisins and tossed in some dried currants as well. Definitely one I'll make again!