A couple of years ago we were gifted a small tangine – it is a gorgeous red colour, non-stick and perfect for a meal for two people.
A tangine is a cooking pot used in North Africa and in the Middle East. Most of the liquid is derived from ingredients and the water formed is turned into vapour, which condenses on the inside of the lid running down the inside to the edges of the tangine bottom. This way, Maillard browning reactions can occur, which would not be the case if it were a stew, where the meat/vegetables are covered with water.
Enough of the history lesson!
If you don’t have a tangine dish you can use a normal casserole dish or a slow cooker with the timings noted below the recipe.
I have cooked this recipe several times, it is delicious. With the cooler weather on it’s way, it will be rolled out several more times for sure.
This lamb tagine uses a blend of Moroccan spices to season the meat before it is cooked – if you can, have the meat marinate overnight or at least several hours. The combination of the spiced lamb with the sweet dried fruit is so delicious – the smells wafting around the kitchen invited a husband in to see what was cooking. He said the smell alone was making him hungry!
After an hour in the oven the lamb was tender and the fruit plump with the juices of the pot. I served the lamb tagine on a bed of couscous – garnish with chopped parsley if you have it on hand and a dollop of plain unsweetened Greek yoghurt.
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients – it is worth the effort, and you will be rewarded with a delicious meal that you will make again…and again….
Apricot Lamb Tagine – Serves: 4
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 500-600g lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped tablespoon garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste, or sun dried tomatoes will work too!
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 3/4 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 1 cup Greek style yoghurt
Mix the paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, salt, cayenne pepper, saffron, lemon zest and oil in a ziplock bag along with the lamb. Mix well and marinate the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
Put your tangine into the oven if using one…we want to heat up the dish first. (If using a standard casserole dish, skip this step)
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-hight heat – add the lamb, brown well on all sides and set aside.
Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about a minute. Add the lamb, tomato paste, honey and beef stock. Stir well. Add the tomatoes, apricots, raisins and more beef stock to cover. Bring to a boil, and then spoon into the heated tangine.
Cook in an oven on 180c for about an hour – check the lamb, it should be ‘fall apart’ tender.
Serve on plain couscous and garnished with parsley and Greek yogurt.
*If you want to convert this dish to a slow cooker recipe place everything except the garnish into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 2-4hours.
So there it is, Apricot Lamb Tangine. A little different from your standard lamb stew and a little more special for the grown-ups in your home!
Happy cooking xx
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