Lamb: Spring Lamb Stew with Vegetables: Msouki - meat

Posted by : Karen Selwyn

During one of my internet searches, I found an article about 
a Passover seder in Provence, France in the SAN FRANCISCO 
CHRONICLE and began reading it with anticipation.  I 
expected the recipes to appear at the end of the copy for at 
least some of the delicious-sounding dishes.  No such luck.  

I have spent a fair amount of time trying to track down 
recipes for the named dishes, and I have had some success.  
The article mentions a soupy stew which is typically served 
in Nice, France.  Faye Levy's INTERNATIONAL JEWISH COOKBOOK 
includes a recipe which matches the soup's description. 

(Copeland Marks' book, SEPHARDIC COOKING, has a similar 
recipe, but the ingredient list is a bit more exotic 
including items such as cardoons and Libyan kishke.  Claudia
Roden wins the prize for length and complexity for her 
recipe.  It begins on page 498 and ends on page 500 -- 
although admittedly, some of that is introduction.)  

Faye Levy's do-able recipe follows.  

Since this is a Sephardic recipe, fava/lima beans are part 
of the list of ingredients.  Levy says the beans may be 
omitted and the mixture of textures and flavors is still 
quite appealing.

Karen Selwyn

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

Spring Lamb Stew with Many Vegetables (Msouki)

2 lbs lamb shoulder, excess fat removed, 
  cut into 1-inch cubes
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon paprika 
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 medium onions, sliced
6 medium garlic cloves, chopped
2 medium carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 1/2 lbs. fresh spinach 
  OR 1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 1/2 lbs. fresh fava beans, shelled
  OR 1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen lima beans
1 leek, split, cleaned and sliced
4 fresh artichoke hearts, leaves discarded, 
  heart cut into large chunks and simmered 15-20 minutes 
  in acidulated water using lemon juice below
  OR 1 (10 oz) pkg frozen artichoke hearts
juice of 1 lemon (if using fresh artichokes)
2 medium zucchini, diced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/3 cup fresh mint, chopped
cayenne pepper to taste
2 matzot broken into 1-inch pieces

Sprinkle lamb cubes lightly with salt, pepper, and paprika

Combine oil, water and tomato paste in large enamel 
casserole and whisk to blend.  Add onions, garlic, carrots, 
celery, and salt and pepper. Mix well.  Set seasoned lamb 
pieces on top.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat 
to low.  Continue cooking for 30 minutes, stirring
occasionally.  

Add spinach, fava (or lima) beans, leek, frozen artichoke 
pieces (if using), and zucchini.  Cover and return contents 
of saucepan to the boil.  Cover and reduce heat.  Continue 
cooking for 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

Taste stew and adjust seasonings.  Reserve 1 tablespoon 
parsley and 1 tablespoon cilantro for garnish.  Add fresh 
artichokes (if using) remaining parsley, remaining cilantro, 
and cayenne to stew.  Cook 3 additional minutes.  Taste and 
adjust seasonings.  Put matzo pieces on top, Stir gently and 
let stand 1-2 minutes to soften.  Sprinkle with reserved 
herbs.  Serve.

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