Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Apricots

This classic Moroccan recipe is not only delicious but easy to make. Tagine is a savory combination of dried apricots and meat stewed with saffron, cinnamon, ginger and pepper similar to the curries that are gaining in popularity. While tagine is prepared traditionally in the cookware it’s name is derived from you can use a Dutch oven and get the same great results.

Serves 4


2 pounds lamb tenderloin, cut into two inch pieces (Beef can be substituted)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cassia cinnamon stick
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable oil or butter
1 bunch cilantro, tied with butchers twine
1 cup dried apricots
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup toasted almonds (optional)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds (optional)


In a large pot, mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, and oils. Brown the meat for a few minutes over medium-high heat.

Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the cilantro. Over high heat, bring the meat and liquids to a simmer.

Cover and simmer the meat over medium heat for two to two-and-half hours,(Remove ½ cup of the cooking liquid and reserve after 1 hour of cooking time. ) until the meat is very tender. If necessary, add a small amount of water during cooking to prevent the meat from scorching. Remove, and discard the cilantro.

While the meat is cooking, place the apricots in a small pot and cover with water. Simmer the apricots over medium heat, partially covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain the apricots and add the honey, cinnamon and the 1/2 cup of reserved liquid from the meat. Simmer the apricots for about 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.

When the meat has cooked, reduce the sauce until it is mostly oil and onions.

To serve, place the meat on a large serving platter (or leave in the base of a tagine). Spoon the apricot and syrup mixture on top of the meat. If desired, garnish with toasted almonds, and sesame seeds.