Lessons from my Grandma
This Moroccan Lamb Risotto is inspired by one of my favorite dishes made by my grandma. Ever since I was little, communicating with my relatives in Morocco was difficult because we spoke different languages. My grandma specifically grew up in a small village outside of Marrakech and only speaks Berber and some Moroccan Arabic; I only speak English. The one thing that we were always able to connect through was food.
Every summer I visited her in Morocco I would spend hours in the kitchen watching her chop herbs, grill fish and squeeze lemons. I learned so much from someone I barely spoke to; those lessons and hours spent together are part of why I love food and cooking so much.
I sometimes feel pressure when exploring with Moroccan cooking, because I’ve got some big shoes to fill. Especially with this recipe. If I could teleport you to my grandma’s apartment in Rabat and have her make you the real deal, let’s just say mine can’t compete. But I’m pretty proud of what I created! This Moroccan Lamb Risotto combines creamy risotto cooked in fresh tomatoes with tender lamb, fresh herbs and caramelized onion. I used the instant pot for this recipe but you could easily use a normal pot and cook the risotto by slowly adding the liquid as you stir.
Let’s Talk Instant Pots
While this recipe is much easier using the Instant Pot or pressure cooking method to cook the risotto, it can be done on the stovetop as well. Use the stock and tomato puree as the broth to slowly cook your risotto as directed on the packaging of your Arborio rice.
Gluten Free Revision
One of the (many) most disappointing parts of learning that I am allergic to wheat was realizing all the different foods I would have to say no to on my upcoming trip to Morocco. Basically every dish there is served with a side of freshly baked bread that is absolutely mouth watering. Not to mention my all time favorite dish (this Moroccan lamb stew with orzo) is a pasta based dish. So I’ve been working on making a gluten free version for a few months now. I decided risotto would be the best substitute for the small grain shaped pasta. If you aren’t gluten free, I highly recommend using orzo instead of risotto rice; you could simply cook the orzo in the same amount of liquid you would cook the risotto in but for the recommended time on the pasta box!
Before We Get Started…
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This recipe does not contain the following allergens:Print
This Moroccan Lamb Risotto combines creamy risotto cooked in a tomato broth with tender lamb, fresh herbs and caramelized onion.
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs lamb stew meat (you can also use beef) cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp minced parsley
- 3 tbsp minced cilantro
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp pepper
- 1 tbsp ginger
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp saffron
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- In your instant pot, add 2/3 of the olive oil, diced onion, lamb, salt, pepper, turmeric, ginger, saffron, bay leaves, parsley and cilantro. Using the sauté mode, turn the lamb to brown on all sides. Move to a medium sized sauce pan and add water; simmering on medium low for 30 minutes or until water has reduced to a thicker sauce.
- In the instant pot, add remaining olive oil and risotto rice; sauté for 2 minutes. Add tomato puree and veggie stock and cover the Instant Pot, setting it to Risotto mode for 6 minutes.
- Serve a bit of the risotto and top with some of the lamb & accompanying sauce. Enjoy!
If you aren’t gluten free you can also make this recipe by substituting orzo pasta for risotto. Use the tomato puree and veggie stock as the liquid to boil the pasta in and cook as directed on packaging.
Keywords: Moroccan Risotto, Instant Pot Risotto, Lamb Risotto
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