Orange, Almonds and Pistachios Sicilian Lamb alla Katia
Easter is the most important holiday in Sicily. Sicilians who live outside the island will do their outmost to get back to the island to enjoy the numerous processions dedicated to the Passion of Christ and catch up with family and friends. Tourists have the chance to see how old traditions and rituals are still kept alive by the Sicilian youth and, obviously, have a taste of all the wonderful local Easter food.
I have already given you the recipes for some of them Modica's Pastieri,Chocolate and Champagne Rabbit/Chicken and Cassata di Pasqua.
This year I decided to share my recipe for Orange, Almonds and Pistachios Lamb which I prepare with spices I bring from Cyprus and serve with cous-cous. I find this dish to be a true Mediterranean recipe where North and South of the Med I united in a dish.
1 kg of lamb meat in chunks (I like to mix leg, shoulder and ribs)
3 teaspoon of curcuma (turmeric)
2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
2 teaspoon of Saigon cinnamon
2 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root
80 g almonds
80 g pistachios
extra virgin olive oil
Brown the lamb in a large saucepan with 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, then remove from the pan and keep them aside. Add to the same pan the chopped onion and garlic, all the spices (curcuma, cinnamon, cumin seeds and fresh ginger), add also some pepper, lower the heat and let the onion sweat, then continue cooking for 5 minutes. Return the meat to the pan, add the diced potatoes, the salt and half of the ground almonds and pistachios. Turn the heat up, then add the zest of the orange and its juice. Once the juice of the orange is partly absorbed, cover the meat with stoke and as soon as it gets to a simmer turn the heat down.
Continue to cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes, add more stoke if required. Before serving it add the remaining nuts and the chopped parsley.
Serve it with cous-cous, the precooked one or, if you have the time, you can get some "semola" and follow my recipe to make your own cous-cous.