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Missov Dziran (Armenian Lamb and Apricot Stew)

2 tb Butter
1 md Onion; finely chopped
1 md Garlic clove; fine chopped
1 lb Lean boneless meat *
2 c Water
1 tb Lemon juice, fresh
1/2 ts Ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c Dried apricots
2 tb Walnuts; chopped
2 tb Sugar

NB * Meat should be lamb or mutton, weighed boneless and defatted, and cut into 1" cubes.

In a heavy saucepan or casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onion and garlic and saut* until soft but not browned, stirring frequently. Add the meat and saut* until browned on all sides. Add the water, lemon juice, ginger, salt & pepper. Cover and simmer until the meat is nearly tender (abt 1 hour for lamb, 3 for mutton). Add the apricots, nuts and sugar (to taste), stirring well to dissolve the latter. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until the meat and fruit are tender. Serve with plain rice pilaf.

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