Lamb Tagine is my decide of all tagines! The ras el hanout spice combine is sheer perfection with lamb, and sluggish cooking works wonders to develop wealthy flavours within the sauce. Serve over couscous for a surprising Moroccan meal. Your home will scent wonderful!
Arabic spice mixes and lamb are only a match made in heaven, a mix I’ve not shied away from exploring. Proof: Moroccan backstrap, Harira Soup, Shawarma shoulder, Lamb Shawarma chickpea soup, Moroccan lamb meatballs. (And all my Moroccan recipes right here)
Undecided why it’s taken me so lengthy to share the mom of all Moroccan lamb dishes – tagine. This can be a stunner. Fork-tender meat, richly spiced sauce, studded with candy apricots and completed with a very good handful of toasted almonds. And the scent when it’s cooking! Swoon….
What’s a tagine? “Tagine” refers to a cone-shaped cooking vessel from North Africa in addition to the stew that’s cooked inside. All kinds of meals are cooked in tagines, from greens to meat and fish. Heat spices come along with the pure juices that seep from the cooking meat and greens to kind the sauce that makes tagines so irresistible.
Meats are sometimes sluggish cooked utilizing stewing cuts of meat to make them superbly tender, such in because the lamb tagine I’m sharing right this moment. Alternatively, fish tagines are a lot faster to prepare dinner!
Heads up – the sauce is thick and richly spiced!
The sauce of this Lamb Tagine is diminished till thick which suggests intense flavour which I believe is important for lamb which is without doubt one of the stronger flavoured proteins. Consider all of the spices and lamb juices diminished and concentrated – you already know it’s going to be good!
Right here’s what it appears like earlier than and after the sluggish cooking:
Elements in Lamb Tagine
Right here’s what it’s essential to make Lamb Tagine.
Finest lamb for tagine
One of the best lamb to make use of for lamb tagine is lamb shoulder. It’s a troublesome lower of meat that’s made for sluggish cooking that’s marbled with fats so it’s superbly juicy. Typically it’s generically bought as “lamb stew meat”.
I personally don’t suppose there’s another lower of lamb that works as nicely. Lamb shank meat can be the following greatest however you’d want to chop the meat off the bone and the form of the items gained’t be as uniform, so some will prepare dinner sooner than others.
Boneless lamb leg would in all probability be my subsequent decide but it surely’s leaner than shoulder so it wouldn’t be as juicy.
Different meat cuts – For non-lamb choices, beef chuck, boneless beef ribs, pork shoulder and pork scotch fillet (aka collar butt and pork neck) would work nicely. For hen, see my Rooster Tagine recipe, and I’ve additionally obtained a Vegetable Tagine (it’s so good!).
Ras el hanout Spice combine for lamb tagine
The spice mix for tagine known as ras el hanout and it’s made with widespread spices you could have already got. You should purchase blends however I a lot want to make my very own to get the proper stability of flavours. Right here’s what you want:
I additionally use ras el hanout for hen and vegetable tagines however the mix is barely totally different. For instance, as a result of lamb has a stronger flavour than greens, the spice mix is stronger.
The great factor right here is that as a result of we’re utilizing a good few totally different spices right here, it’s not the top of the world if you happen to’re lacking one … and even two. I’ve supplied a couple of switch-out choices within the recipe notes!
and all the things else for the tagine
And listed below are the opposite substances it’s essential to make lamb tagine:
Garlic, onion and ginger – Fragrant flavour base. Don’t skip the ginger!
Cinnamon sticks – A spice historically utilized in Center Japanese cooking and makes the flavour so particular. You possibly can substituted with a bit of powder however cinnamon sticks works higher. It’s a bit of extra delicate and earthier.
Rooster inventory/broth – The braising liquid. Historically water is used, however inventory makes it tastier! Notice: Rooster inventory is used slightly than lamb inventory as a result of the flavour is “cleaner”. Lamb inventory will not be bought at grocery shops, and there’s a motive for that – as a result of it’s very…nicely, lamb! We get sufficient lamb flavour on this sauce from the lamb items.
Dried apricots – Some variations of tagine are made with olives, others use dried fruit, others nonetheless might use each. I’ve opted for fruit as a result of tagines are one of many few dishes I really like that pairs fruit with meat! I additionally suppose the orange color of the apricots appears pretty within the sauce.
Nevertheless, the recipe contains the olive choice too.
Tomato paste – That is what’s used to thicken the sauce and add a contact of flavour. We don’t use sufficient to make it tomatoey, it’s very delicate.
Lemon – Some tagines use preserved lemon (like in my hen tagine) however for lamb, contemporary lemon zest is gorgeous. Additionally – cheaper. 🙂
Slivered almonds and coriander/cilantro – Garnish for serving. An excellent quantity of each works!
Tips on how to make Lamb Tagine
Very straight ahead – brown the lamb, sauté aromatics, plonk all the things in then sluggish prepare dinner for 1 hour 45 minutes till the lamb is fall-apart tender!
Brown lamb – Reduce the lamb into giant 3.5cm / 1.5″ cubes so that they don’t change into fall-apart tender too rapidly. Cooking lengthy and sluggish = extra flavour within the sauce and it wants the time to cut back and thicken!
Toss the lamb in salt and pepper, brown in three batches (don’t crowd the pot else the lamb will stew as an alternative of brown) then take away right into a bowl.
Use a big oven-proof pot with a lid, so it could actually go from the range to oven. My dutch oven pictured is 24cm / 9.5″ large.
Sauté aromatics – Prepare dinner the garlic and onion first, then the tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon and spices. Prepare dinner for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring always, to prepare dinner out the uncooked flavour of the tomato paste and toast the spices which brings out the flavour.
Braising liquid and lamb – Add the hen inventory and lamb, then carry it to a simmer.
First prepare dinner 45 minutes – Put the lid on and switch to a 180°F/350°F (160°C fan-forced) oven for 45 minutes.
Add apricots then stir them in. We add them in partway via else they get too smooth.
Prepare dinner one other 1 hour – Put the lid on then return the tagine to the oven for an extra 1 hour, or till the lamb items are fork tender.
Thick and stuffed with flavour – Right here’s what the lamb tagine appears like after 1 hour 45 minutes of sluggish cooking. The sauce has diminished all the way down to a thick consistency, wealthy with spicing and a good looking depth of flavour you’ll be able to solely obtain from sluggish cooking.
Serve over couscous. I simply use plain couscous for this tagine as a result of it’s obtained a lot flavour in it, slightly than one with fruit and nuts in it.
Why the oven works greatest
As with every sluggish cooking recipe I share, I do know some folks will ask if it may be cooked utilizing the sluggish cooker or on the range! Sadly for this lamb tagine, the oven works greatest.
The range wouldn’t work very nicely since you’d have to stir incessantly to forestall the bottom from catching because the sauce of this tagine is significantly thicker than say, Beef Stew. However as a result of the lamb items will get so tender, it would break aside into the sauce.
The sluggish cooker additionally doesn’t work that nicely as a result of the sauce is not going to cut back practically sufficient within the sluggish cooker. So the sauce is simply too skinny and can lack flavour. Cooking within the sluggish cooker additionally means you don’t get caramelisation on the floor and edges of the tagine such as you do within the oven and on the range which provides flavour to stews.
For some dishes you will get round this by ending a dish cooked within the sluggish cooker within the oven, like I do with Sluggish Cooker BBQ Brisket and Sluggish Cooker Roast Lamb Leg. However sadly not for stews like this tagine!
That shut up photograph above does me each time, remembering the richness of the flavour of the sauce and the way tender that lamb is. Tender, however not mushy, we’re not making child meals right here.
The dried apricot provides lovely pops of sweetness in addition to sweetening the sauce a contact.
And ending with contemporary lemon zest is simply sheer perfection. Please don’t skip that! – Nagi x
PS Additionally don’t skip the nice handful of toasted almonds for serving, it’s additionally the right completion!
Watch easy methods to make it
Prep: 15 minutes
Prepare dinner: 2 hours
Complete: 2 hours 15 minutes
Moroccan, North African
Faucet or hover to scale
Use considered one of these lambs (Notice 1):
Preheat oven to 180°F/350°F (160°C fan).
Spice combine – Combine the substances in a bowl then put aside.
Brown lamb – Toss lamb with the salt and pepper. Warmth the oil in a big oven-proof dutch oven (with a lid) over excessive warmth. Brown the lamb in 3 batches, turning to color the items throughout, about 3 minutes. Take away right into a bowl, then repeat with remaining lamb. Put aside.
Aromatics – Flip warmth all the way down to medium excessive. Add onion and garlic, prepare dinner for 3 minutes till smooth. Add tomato paste, ginger, cinnamon and spice combine. Prepare dinner for 1 1/2 minutes, stirring always.
Sauce – Add hen inventory, stir, then return the lamb into the pot.
Sluggish prepare dinner 1 hr 45 min – Convey to a simmer, cowl with a lid then prepare dinner within the oven for 45 minutes. Add apricots, then prepare dinner within the oven for an additional 1 hour (lid nonetheless on).
Lemon – Lamb needs to be tender – examine! Gently stir in lemon zest.
Serve over plain couscous, sprinkled with almonds and coriander.
Or, use 1 kg/2 lb lamb stewing meat or lamb shoulder that’s already trimmed. Attempt to not use pre-cut as a result of the items are often too small and change into fall-apart too rapidly, earlier than the sauce reduces sufficient & develops flavour.
Different appropriate meats – Lamb shanks meat, is also used (1 kg/2lb exc bone), or beef chuck. See right here for hen tagine and right here for vegetable tagine.
2. Dates are additionally generally used so be happy to substitute. I just like the sweetness and color of apricots with lamb.
Olives can also be utilized in tagines – if you happen to want olives to dried fruit, use 1 heaped cup of inexperienced olives.
3. Toast slivered almonds – warmth small pan over medium excessive warmth (no oil) then toss almonds for 2 minutes till mild golden. Take away and put aside.
4. Ras el hanout – the normal spice combine used for tagines. You gained’t be left missing in case you are lacking a spice (possibly even two), simply make up for it by dialling up those you will have.
Spiciness – It’s not spicy however has an unmissable heat hum, the cayenne will be diminished or omitted.
5. Storage – 4 days within the fridge, or 3 months within the freezer. If making for firm, can extremely suggest making it the day earlier than as it would develop extra flavour in a single day. Reheat within the oven solely (150C/300F – 130C fan). Range is simply too dangerous, re: burnt base.
Vitamin per serving excluding couscous.
Energy: 442cal (22%)Carbohydrates: 30g (10%)Protein: 32g (64%)Fats: 24g (37%)Saturated Fats: 4g (25%)Polyunsaturated Fats: 5gMonounsaturated Fats: 13gTrans Fats: 0.04gLdl cholesterol: 81mg (27%)Sodium: 860mg (37%)Potassium: 1040mg (30%)Fiber: 6g (25%)Sugar: 17g (19%)Vitamin A: 1199IU (24%)Vitamin C: 6mg (7%)Calcium: 124mg (12%)Iron: 5mg (28%)
Extra Moroccan stunners!
Lifetime of Dozer
Dozer and I spent the weekend in Mudgee, a regional NSW city 3 1/2 hours from Sydney. We went for the native Readers’ Pageant and dropped by the native e book retailer (E book Nest Mudgee) in addition to doing a lunch discuss at a good looking restaurant on a working farm known as Blue Wren.
There was knowledgeable photographer there so I used to be going to carry off till I may share these – as a result of the venue was so gorgeous, everybody was frocked up, the meals and wine was unbelievable, it was simply perfection, so I need to share good pictures that do it justice! However I can’t resist sharing a couple of behind the scenes pics…
Having a severe discuss with Dozer earlier than the doorways opened about not stealing meals from the desk:
On the finish of the lunch, a photograph with the unbelievable Blue Wren Farm workforce. And Dozer, after 5 hours of pictures with lunch friends, was utterly achieved. 😂 What a brat!!!