The tagine is a mainstay of Moroccan food, traditionally cooked in its eponymous special dish with distinctive conical lid, it is a hearty and aromatic meat stew, often featuring dried fruit. It is often served with couscous and vegetables, and an array of simple salads. This recipe comes from a Moroccan cooking class we took recently, and the flavours took us straight back to Morocco.
The combination of lamb, dried dates and almonds is a classic, lifted by the delicious flavours of cinnamon, ginger, saffron, and honey.
Tagine Of Lamb With Dates And Almonds
- 1.5 kg boned shoulder of lamb
- 50 g butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp saffron threads
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- Salt and lots of black pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 300 g pitted dates
- 100 g whole almonds, roasted (optional)
Trim any excess fat from the lamb and cut into 6-8 pieces.
Heat butter in a large pan. Brown the lamb lightly all over, in batches if necessary. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Cook the onions in the same pan, stirring until they begin to colour.
Stir in the saffron and ground ginger.
Return the meat to the pan and salt, pepper and cinnamon stick. Add water to cover the meat and seal the pan with a tight fitting lid, or foil wrap. Simmer on the stove or bake in a medium oven for 2 hours until the meat is very tender.
Stir in the honey, ground cinnamon and more black pepper. Stir well, and cook until sauce is reduced, turning the meat occasionally.
Add the dates, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Serve with cous cous.
This dish really benefits from its slow cooking time, and as is often the case with braised stews and curries, the flavours are even better the next day (after it’s been refrigerated and then reheated).
Kavey Eats attended the class as guests of Carlton Towers. Please note that the cookery school is now closed.