Lamb Tagine


In the summer months when we want something that little bit heartier for our dinner, the slow cooker becomes my best friend.  If I don't want to be heating up the kitchen, the slow cooker is the way to go!  I have three slow cookers.  One in a large size for making dishes large enough to feed over 4 people, and two smaller ones which are perfectly sized for two people, a round one and an oval one, because a small round one doesn't always cut the mustard when it comes to slow cooking.  A small oval one is perfect for small roasts, hams, etc.


Slow cooking lends itself perfectly to creating delicious dishes like this Lamb Tagine I am showing you here today.  A Tagine is traditionally a Moroccan dish. I love the flavours of Moroccan food. 


Moroccan cuisine is a delicious mix of Arabic, Andalusian, Mediterranean and Berber cuisine with a dash of European and Subsaharian influence thrown in for good measure.  Think what we traditionally see as warm baking spices . . .  cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and cloves  . . .  with some heat through in from cayenne and black pepper  . . .  and lemon.  They love to use preserved lemons . . . leafy things like coriander . . .  rose petals.  And this is by no means a complete list, but merely a hint of the deliciousness involved.



They also love using tomatoes, dried apricots, dates, prunes  . . . I love savoury dishes with dried fruit involved, and this one is just wonderful using both  apricots and prunes  . . . and zest of oranges . . .



The sauce is fragrant and delicious . . .  sweet and savoury at the same time, with a tiny bit of heat, but not overpoweringly so . . .



The sauce/gravy is thickened with ground almonds or what you might know in American as almond meal, which lends a slight nuttiness into the mix . . .  and then there is the sweetness of that oh so tender lamb  . . .


Lamb was not something I had ever eaten a lot of before I moved over here to the UK. My only experience with it had been my mother cooking lamb chops once for us when I was a teenager. They smelled like burning wool when she was cooking them, and none of us would eat them.  The thought of eating burning wool was not very appealing.



I can only think now that they were not very good lamb chops  . . .  because I have never had lamb over here that smelled like burning wool, or tasted like it for that matter.  I truly love the taste . . . young tender lamb has a delicate almost sweet taste.  Older lamb can taste a bit gamey, but its not bad either.


*Lamb Tagine*
Serves 2
A delicious Moroccan Lamb Stew, sized just for two.  Nicely spiced and rich. You can double the amounts to serve more if you wish. Easy to make and cooked in a slow cooker.

1 TBS olive oil
225g cubed lamb (1/2 pound)
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
225ml hot lamb or chicken stock (1 cup)
the finely grated zest and juice of one small orange
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp runny clear honey
85g chopped dried apricots (2/3 cup)
1 heaped TBS chopped fresh mint
15g ground almonds (3 TBS almond meal)
15g flaked toasted almonds (3 TBS)
salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a  skillet.  Add the lamb and cook over medium high heat until golden all over.  Scoop out and put into a small slow cooker. Add the onion and garlic to the pan, and cook gently to soften.  Add to the slow cooker and stir into the lamb. Add the stock, zest and orange juice, honey, apricots, ground spices, mint and ground almonds.  Stir well to combine.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish with the flaked almonds to serve.

I hope you will take advantage of your slow cooker this summer and make this delicious Moroccan stew!  I think you will love it!  Bon Appetit, or as they say in Morocco, بالصحة و العافية!  Now that's what I would call a tongue twister, lol Serving it with peas and rice is so, so  . . .  well, English.  In Morocco you would probably have it with couscous!


Comments

  1. My daughter loves lamb:) Will send to her!!

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    1. If she likes lamb, she will love this Monique! It's fabulous! Xo

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  2. That looks SO good and sounds so easy...winner, winner, lamb dinner! :)

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  3. Made this for Monday nights dinner, had to use beef instead of lamb but it was a winner all round. Thanks Marie.

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    1. Vicky, I am so happy that you made this and enjoyed the results! Beef os really good done this way too! Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know! xo

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