Food & Drink Magazine

Lamb Tagine

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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.
Lamb Tagine
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. 
Lamb Tagine
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.
Lamb Tagine
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 . . .
Lamb Tagine
The sauce is fragrant and delicious . . .  sweet and savoury at the same time, with a tiny bit of heat, but not overpoweringly so . . .
Lamb Tagine
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 Tagine 
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.
Lamb Tagine
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 
*Lamb Tagine*Serves 2Printable Recipe
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 oil225g cubed lamb (1/2 pound)1 small onion, peeled and chopped1 clove garlic, peeled and minced225ml hot lamb or chicken stock (1 cup)the finely grated zest and juice of one small orange1/2 tsp ground cinnamon1/2 tsp ground coriander1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 tsp ground sweet paprika1/4 tsp ground ginger1 tsp runny clear honey85g chopped dried apricots (2/3 cup)1 heaped TBS chopped fresh mint15g 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.
Lamb Tagine
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!

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