I first attempted this lamb dish in order to try a sephardic-style entrée for Rosh Hashanah. It is easy to make and the flavor is very nice – something different if you're used to Eastern European traditional foods. The three testers really enjoyed the dish and would be happy to eat it again! The honey, sugar, and prunes provide the sweetness that is essential to a New Year festive meal. I left out the almonds, as my daughter is allergic to them – these would add a little contrast in both color and crunch. (Nuts are avoided in some traditions on Rosh Hashanah, but not in Morocco.) On my next try, I am thinking of adding cubed butternut squash along with the onions and prunes. Serve the lamb with rice pilaf and a salad. This recipe serves 4-5 people and can easily be doubled.
1 pound onions, chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pounds lamb, fat removed, cubed
1 3/4 cups water
1 pound dried prunes, which have been soaked in water for 1 hour
1/4 pound (1/2 cup) toasted blanched almonds, as a garnish (optional)
Cook the onions in 1/4 cup vegetable oil, stirring occasionally, until they are limp and very dark (about 1 hour). Combine with the honey, cinnamon, and sugar and set aside.
Sauté the lamb in the remaining tablespoon of oil, cooking until golden. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and simmer over a very low flame for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender. Each time you stir, add more water to maintain the liquid, as much as 1 1/2 additional cups.
Add the onions and the drained prunes to the meat. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes more.
If using the toasted almonds, sprinkle them over the meat just before serving.