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Tagine Lamb with Apricots

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Ingredients

500 gr Lamb
1 tbsp Paprika Powder
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander ground
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3-4 threads Saffron
1 & 1/2 tbsp Harissa
1 tbsp (optional) Ras El Hanout I like to bring more flavour to the dish, so I add this to it. Basically, all the spies in this dish are the base for Ras El Hanout, so if you don't have it, you can just not use it.
3 cloves Garlic crushed
1 tsp Ginger freshly grated
1 cup Dried Apricots
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1/2 lemon Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Raisins
1 large Onion chopped
400 ml Canned Tomatoes
1/2 cup Beef Broth
2 tbsp Honey
1/2 cup Cilantro fresh
1/2 cup Parsley fresh
1/4 cup Mint fresh
1 cup Greek Yoghurt
3 tbsp Olive Oil to oil the dish, marinade the meat and cook

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Tagine Lamb with Apricots

How to use a tagine?

Cuisine:
  • 3 h + overnight
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Directions

It sounds good, right? Lamb, apricots, lots of herbs and spices. But what actually makes this dish absolutely fantastic is the tagine (tajin, tajine, however you want to write it). So let’s talk a little bit about it.

tagine1

What is a Tagine?

  • It is a Moroccan clay or ceramic vessel used for slow cooked dishes. You can use it for making but also for serving dishes. Mine has a label with “Handmade in Spain” and it costed us 20 eur. It’s the first one that we buy, so we hope it will last a very long time.

What to do before start cooking in a Tagine?

  • On our instruction paper it says “soak in water for 5 hours before using, than let dry for at least 3 hours.” Some people say let it soak overnight and dry for 12 hours, others say 3 hours with 5 hours. The idea is that it needs to be soaked and dried before using, so take your time.
  • If the cookware is unglazed, rub the interior and exterior of the lid and base with olive oil. Than put it in a cold oven and bring in slowly to 160 C and let it “bake” for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and let it cool off in the oven. Before using or storing coat with oil again.
  • If the cookware is glazed, rub the base and the lid with oil.

How to cook in a Tagine?

  • If you cook using the oven place the pot in the cold oven, on the middle rack and slowly let it reach 160 C.
  • If you you cook using the stove place the tagine on a heat diffuser, on very low heat, to avoid cracking.
  • Don’t make sudden changes in the temperature, like putting the tagine in a preheated oven, or cooking of very high fire. It will crack or it will burn your food.
  • Don’t be afraid to use oil. These dishes need a rich, smooth sauce, so you will need to use a fatter meat and a little more oil.
  • Slow, very slow. For the dish that we cooked for this post we took a nice 3 hours time to enjoy, spice, read and discover. It’s very important to let the meat cook very well, until super-tender.
  • Onions are a must in a tagine. Spices as well. Lots of them.
  • And don’t forget about broth. You will need some liquid to make this beautiful stew dish and to collect a great tasting sauce next to the meat.
  • Add something sour and add something sweet. A perfect combination for these tagine dishes is meat with red sauce, apricots, almonds, raisins and some citrus flavours.
  • Don’t forget to get cous-cous or to make a tabouleh. Delicious combo!

lamb_tagine3How to store a Tagine?

  • Wash it with very mild detergent, by hand, after you let it cool off completely. Don’t use too hot water, nor too cold water.
  • Do not leave submerged in soapy water because it will break the oil layer that we formed.
  • Oil the inside and store in your pantry.
  • The glazed ones tend to mold if not used often, so let the lid ajar opened.
  • If you don’t use it a lot, after about 3 month you should repeat the procedure with soaking, oiling, baking if not glazed and drying.

Even if you can see here on the side and intimidating list of spices, don’t let it bring you down. This dish is very easy to make, because you just have to put everything in one pot and let it cook. The tagine will do all nasty work, so you have time to read and relax.

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Steps

1
Done

The Tagine

Soak in water for 5 hours and dry for 3 hours. Read instructions above.

2
Done

The Marinade

Combine 1 tbsp olive oil with 1 clove of crushed garlic, all powder spices and saffron. Put the lamb in a bag and pour the mixture over. Try to take out as much air as you can and rub the marinade very well. Let it rest in refrigerator for at least 5 hours or overnight.

3
Done

Cooking

Put your tagine on the heat diffuser and keep the fire very low. Add 1/2 tbsp of oil and let it heat. Brown the marinated meat on all sides. Remove from the tagine and let it rest.

4
Done

Add 1/2 tsp of oil again and glaze the onions, together with the ginger and crushed garlic. Return meat to the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

5
Done

Pour over the beef broth and the canned tomatoes and let it simmer for 2 hours.

6
Done

After two hour remove the lid carefully and using a wooden spoon mix well, scraping the bottom. Add the fresh cilantro, parsley, mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, apricots and raisins. Mix until incorporated and put the lid back on. Cook for another 30 minutes.

7
Done

Remove the pot from the fire and allow 10 minutes to cool on a rack. Take the lid off and add 4-5 spoons of Greek yogurt. Serve with couscous and slices of lemon. Mint tea brings a great addition!

Adriana

I am Adriana and I love food, as you can probably see from what I cook. I like to bake and I like to experiment with new tastes, and my 2016 resolution is to try to cook healthy and special meals every day.

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