Fragrant Moroccan style lamb tagine with spiced cous cous
This lamb tagine is filled with amazing aromatic flavors and a delicious sweetness from the honey and apricots. Slow cooking the tagine helps to make the lamb incredibly tender and moist and soak up all of the flavors from the fresh herbs and spices
Yield (serves): 6
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
2 pounds (1 kilo) lean leg of lamb
1 white onion, finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 ¾ cups (400 ml) Chicken stock
1 bunch fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
¾ cup (100 g) cooked and drained chickpeas/garbanzo beans
4 tablespoons honey
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons pickled lemon rind, cut into fine strips (optional)
1 tablespoons rose water
1 tablespoons sesame seeds
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cous cous
2 cups (350 g) cous cous
2 cups (480 ml) Vegetable stock
½ stick (55 g) unsalted butter
¼ cup (50 g) chopped dried apricots
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
¼ cup (50 g) toasted almonds
1. Seal the lamb in hot oil to get even color. Take out of the pan and add the shallot, onion and garlic and cook until soft.
2. Add the cinnamon stick and stock and bring to the boil and add half the herbs.
3. Continue to cook on medium heat for approximately 30 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half, and then add chickpeas, apricots and honey.
4. Transfer the tagine to a deep sided baking dish, cover with coil and place into the oven at 150°C/300F oven for 90 minutes, checking after 60 minutes, then every 10 minutes until the lamb is tender.
5. Remove from the oven and add the remainder of the herbs, lemon juice, lemon peel, rose water and sesame seeds. Simmer on top of the stove for five minutes. And season well, adding plenty of black pepper.
6. Thicken the sauce with a little corn flour if you like.
7. For the cous cous, mix all of the dry ingredients apart from the almonds together in a large mixing bowl and season well
8. Bring the vegetable stock and butter to the boil and pour over the dry cous cous mix and stir well.
9. Cover the dish and allow to soak for five minutes
10. To serve fluff up the cous cous with a fork and add the toasted almonds and chopped parsley,
11. serve a generous pile of the cous cous with the tagine sprinkle with more toasted almonds and chopped coriander
Although lamb is the traditional meat for this dish you could also use beef or chicken
Try adding a finely chopped chilli to the tagine for a more spicy taste.
Old World: Provence, Tavel, Roses. Cotes du Rhone.
New World: Merlot, Syrah, Primitivo, Zinfandel, could be roses and light to medium reds.