Moroccan Lamb and Fruit Stew

This delicious stew is really a tagine made in a slow cooker.  You can use lamb or beef and in the version pictured above I substituted prunes for the dates.  Like most stews, you can make it ahead and keep it in the fridge for a few days before serving.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Moroccan Lamb and Fruit Stew
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Crockery Cooking
Serves 6-8

2 lb boneless leg of lamb or beef bottom round roast
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tblsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 Tblsp cornstarch
2 Tblsp water
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried apricots
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)

Trim the fat from the meat and cut into 1.5" cubes.  In a small bowl combine the cayenne pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and salt.  Coat the meat with the spices.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and brown the meat in 2 batches until browned on all sides, but not cooked through.  Transfer the meat to a 4-quart slow cooker.  Fry the onions and garlic, add to the slow cooker.

Pour the broth into the skillet and scrape up the brown bits.  Add the broth to the slow cooker.  Cover and cook on the low-heat setting for 7-9 hours, or on the high heat setting for 3 1/2 -4 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl combine cornstarch and cold water, stir into the slow cooker.  Add dates and apricots, stir and continue to cook for 30 minutes.  Serve over hot rice.  Top with almonds, if desired.