Morocco - Lamb Tagine
This had such good flavor, a good kick of spice that accentuated rather than took away from the overall dish. The lamb was so tender and so good that it's quite unfortunate that lamb is has a pretty hefty price tag, don't you think?
I've had a handful of friends who have been to Morocco, and have said their tagines are definitely a must get, so when it came time to do a Moroccan dish, I knew I wanted to make a tagine inspired plate. I just wish I had an actual tagine cookware to make this in. Would've been really cool and way more authentic that way.
Anyway, again, this was so jam-packed full of flavor, even though I made it in a dutch oven. A must try!
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 lbs lamb, trimmed & cut into 2 inch chunks
2 large onions (grated)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp argan oil (sub nut oil)
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
14 oz tomato sauce
28 oz can tomatoes (diced)
4 oz dried apricots (chopped)
2 oz dates (chopped)
2 oz sultanas or raisins
3 oz slivered almonds
1 tsp saffron (soaked in cold water)
2 cups stock
1 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp cilantro (chopped)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley (chopped)
In a small bowl, combine the cayenne, pepper, paprika, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon. Mix well to combine. Place the lamb in a large bowl and rub on half of the spice mix. Cover and leave overnight (or a few hours) in the fridge.
When you're just about ready to cook, preheat the oven to 300F.
Heat 1 tablespoon each of olive and argan oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is ready, add the grated onion and the remaining spice mix to the pot and saute for about 10 minutes. Stir continuously. About a minute or two before the 10 minutes is up, add the garlic and keep stirring.
Add the remaining oil to the pot, followed by the lamb. Brown the lamb on all sides. When done, add 1/4 of the tomato sauce (about 1/2 cup) and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Stir for a few minutes and add the rest of the tomato sauce. Let it come to a soft bubble.
Now, add the diced tomatoes, apricots, dates, raisins, almonds, saffron (and the water it was soaking in), stock, and honey to the pot. Bring the pot to a boil by raising the temperature to high heat. Cover your pot with a lid and place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours. It will be nicely tender.
Take it out of the oven, and place on your stovetop. Garnish with the cilantro and parsley. You are ready to serve.
Note: This goes really well with couscous or rice.
Recipe adapted from Les Borjs de la Kasbah.