The term “tagine” refers to the name of this traditional Moroccan meat stew, as well as the clay pot with a conical lid in which the stew cooks over a live fire. This recipe uses a more practical lidded casserole in which to cook the tagine with equally delicious results.
Amber El-Amin, owner of The Gardener’s House bed and breakfast in Marrakech, shared this recipe with us in the aspire design and home magazine spring issue. Make it at home and enjoy over hot, fluffy couscous.
Spiced Lamb Tagine with Apricots, Dates and Mint
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed and cubed Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sweet butter
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
Pinch saffron threads
2 1/2 – 3 cups beef stock (or water)
1/2 pound pitted apricots
1/2 pound pitted dates
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons toasted sliced almonds
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy Dutch Oven or casserole over medium-high heat. Add half the lamb cubes, season with salt and pepper and cook until lightly browned all over, about 6 minutes. Transfer the cooked lamb cubes to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining oil and lamb cubes.
2. Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the same Dutch Oven or casserole dish. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in the coriander, cinnamon, garlic, ginger and saffron. Then, add the browned lamb cubes and their juices back to the casserole, stirring to coat the meat with the onion and spices. Sauté for 2 minutes.
3. Add enough stock to just cover the meat, about 2 1/2 cups, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the tagine for 1 hour, or until meat is tender. Stir in the apricots, dates and honey. Simmer, covered, for approximately 20 more minutes; add a little more stock as necessary, to yield a syrupy sauce. Season the finished tagine with more salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with the almonds and fresh mint.
Photo by Cécile Perrinet-Lhermitte.
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