Lamb Stew with Lemon and Figs

Lamb Stew with Lemon and Figs

Active ingredients: 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice,1/ 8 teaspoon cayenne pepper,1 cup dried figs, stems trimmed, quartered lengthwise (about 4 ounces),1 rounded teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger,3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint,4 garlic cloves, minced,1/ 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon,1 2 1/2- to 3-pound boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1- to 1 1/2- inch cubes,1 small lemon (ideally Meyer), ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, very finely sliced crosswise,2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth,2 tablespoons (or more) olive oil,2 onions (about 1 pound), thinly sliced,1/ 4 teaspoon saffron threads, collapsed,1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt,1/ 2 cup warm water

Instructions: Set strainer lined with double layer of cheesecloth over medium bowl. Place yogurt in strainer; cover and chill 3 to 5 hours to drain. Transfer yogurt to small bowl. Stir in mint; season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill.), Place 1/2 cup warm water and saffron in little bowl; let stand a minimum of 20 minutes to infuse., Sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy big pot over medium-high heat. Operating in batches, cook lamb up until brown on all sides, adding more oil as needed, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to large bowl. Put all but 1 tablespoon fat from pot (or include 1 tablespoon oil if dry); heat pot over medium heat. Add onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté up until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add lemon, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne. Stir 1 minute. Add saffron mixture; stir, scraping up browned bits. Include tomatoes with juice, figs, and lamb with any juices to pot. Stir to coat. Include 2 1/2 cups broth., Bring stew to boil. Minimize heat to medium-low, then cover with lid a little open and simmer till meat hurts, stirring periodically and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as required if dry, about 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate revealed until cold, then cover and chill.), Bring stew to simmer, thinning with more chicken broth if necessary. Divide stew among 6 plates; leading each serving with dollop of minted yogurt. Place wedge of Crispy Noodle Cake alongside each and serve.

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