Lamb and Cauliflower Stew with Harissa

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Yield: serves 4-6


For this Middle Eastern-spiced stew, cauliflower stems are minced and sautéed in the mirepoix to add flavor, while the florets are broiled and added at the end of cooking to offer crunch and body.


5 tbsp. olive oil

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 lb. boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

5 cloves garlic, minced

3 plum tomatoes, cored and minced

2 large red onions, minced

1 ⁄ 2 head cauliflower (cut into large florets, stems peeled and minced)

1 ⁄ 3 cup dry white wine

1 ⁄ 4 cup tomato paste

2 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

5 cups lamb or chicken stock

2 tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 2 tbsp. cold water

1 ⁄ 3 cup jarred harissa

8 pitted dates, roughly chopped

1 ⁄ 2 tsp. smoked paprika

1 ⁄ 4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


Heat oil and 2 tbsp. butter in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Working in batches, season lamb with salt and pepper; cook, turning as needed, until browned, about 20 minutes. Transfer lamb to a plate. Add garlic, tomatoes, onions, and minced cauliflower stems to pan; cook until golden, 8-10 minutes. Add wine, tomato paste, cumin, and cinnamon; cook 3 minutes. Add reserved lamb and the stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, until lamb is very tender, about 2 hours. Stir in cornstarch mixture; return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir in harissa, dates, salt, and pepper; cook 5 minutes more.

Heat oven broiler. Stir remaining butter, the smoked paprika, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Place cauliflower florets on a baking sheet and toss with paprika butter; broil, stirring as needed, until cauliflower is slightly charred and chewy, about 10 minutes. Ladle stew into bowls; garnish with florets and almonds.