Lamb and quince are surprisingly good together. Lamb has a natural sweetness that nicely balances the tartness of quince. This is easy to make and requires little attention once the stew is simmering. I found that 1 tablespoon of sugar was enough for my taste, 2 made the stew too sweet, so I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon sugar, and tasting halfway through the cooking, adding more if you think necessary.
3 – 4 T vegetable oil or coconut oil or butter, or a combination, divided
1 1/2 – 2 lbs lamb stew pieces (lamb shoulder)
1 c onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c water, lamb broth, or vegetable stock, plus more if needed
1 t ground cinnamon
1 – 2 T sugar or other sweetener
salt and pepper, to taste
3 – 4 quinces, peeled, quartered, cored
1. Heat 2 T of the oil in a skillet that can be covered or in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the lamb pieces, in batches, and brown on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
2. Take the skillet or pan off the heat for a bit, to allow it to cool some. Reduce heating element to medium or medium-low. Add more oil if necessary. Add onion and sauté for about 5 minutes, until it has softened. Add minced garlic and cook another couple of minutes.
3. Slowly pour in water, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and to dissolve the sugar. Add browned lamb and quince pieces. Bring to a simmer, then cover, reducing heat to maintain a simmer.
4. Simmer for about an hour, until the lamb is tender. Stir occasionally, and if the liquid seems to be evaporating, add more (you want some sauce here).