Lamb and apricot tagine

Lindsey Bareham

This lamb tagine is made with a tender cut of meat, and on the table in under an hour from start to finish. If you prefer to use stewing lamb, it should be cut in larger pieces, the pan covered and simmered very gently for double the cooking time until the meat is very soft.

Cooking time

40 minutes

Serves

2



Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, approx 200g/8oz
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 350g/12oz boned lamb leg steaks, or leg fillet
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 small cinnamon stick or 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300ml/10fl oz chicken stock or 1/2 chicken stock cube
  • Pinch saffron stamens
  • 10 soft/no-soak dried apricots
  • 25g/1oz fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 lemon for wedges

Method

Tagine sounds so much more exotic than stew, but that’s what it is, an aromatic, spicy stew, and the national dish of Morocco. Traditionally it’s made in a distinctive pot, also called a tagine, with a witch’s hat lid, allowing the food to simmer and steam, the juices dripping back into the stew so nothing is wasted. It’s not necessary, though, to own a tagine to cook this surprisingly simple and versatile dish that is particularly good made with lamb, chicken or fish.

Peel and chop the onion and gently soften in the olive oil in a medium sized, heavy bottomed pan.

Peel, chop and crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to make a paste. Cut the lamb into strips approximately 5 x 1 cm/2 x ins. Stir the paste into the tender onion, and when aromatic, add the lamb, browning for a few minutes.

Add the cumin and ground coriander, stirring for a couple of minutes so it cooks evenly. If using a stock cube, dissolve it in 300ml boiling water, adding the saffron. Pour it over the meat, stirring in the apricots and cinnamon stick. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently but steadily, uncovered, for 30 minutes until the liquid is reduced and thickened by the apricots.

Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, checking that meat and apricots are tender. If the meat needs longer cooking, cover the pan, reduce the heat as low as possible, and cook for a further 15 minutes. Coarsely chop the coriander and stir it into the stew. Serve immediately with a lemon wedge or re-heat later.

Lindsey Bareham's website is www.lindseybareham.com.

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