Monday, June 12, 2017

Lamb Tagine

Lamb is probably by favorite type of meat.  I don't cook with it regularly though.  I think it is because lamb is so expensive.  I grew up eating lamb, and I didn't realize how good I had it.

I have three other lamb dishes on this blog.  I had made lamb rogan josh, rice with fave beans - timmen baghilla, and a lamb stew.

Tagine is a Maghrebi dish cooked in a earthenware pot.  The pot is also called a tagine.  The Maghreb is also known as the Barbary states.  It consists of North Africa west of Egypt.  This includes Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria.  

The oldest written record of cooking in a tagine is in One Thousand and One Nights in the 9th century.  Today, this cooking vestal is used in North Africa and the Middle East.

The word tagine is Persian, and means large pot. It is also called a maraq, which means broth in Arabic. 

This recipe is Moroccan.  Moroccan tagines often contain spices like ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron.  They also often contain nuts and dried fruit.

Cooking in a tagine is good for places will little water.  The lid captures the steam and the condensed water runs back into the pot.  With this type of cooking vessel, only a little water is needed to cook the food.

This lamb tagine recipe came from  I made a few alterations.  I only marinated the meat for an hour.  I didn't use any saffron or lemon zest.  I used more tomato paste and honey.  I added dried apricots.  I also cooking the tagine in a slow-cooker instead on the stove top.

The ingredients are 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 pounds lamb, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/2 teaspoon cardamon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 3/4 teaspoon coriander, 1 diced onions, 5 cubed carrots, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, 1 14.5 ounce can chicken broth, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 2 tablespoons honey, 1 cup chopped dried apricots, 1 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoons cornstarch.

Phew! What a list of ingredients!  Most of the ingredients are spices so if you have a well stocked spice cabinet, you shouldn't have to buy too many things for this recipe.  Even if you do, it's worth it.

I began by marinating the lamb.  I chopped the lamb into cubes and coated the lamb with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

I added the paprika, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamon, salt, ginger, garlic powder, and coriander.  

I obviously took many pictures of me adding spices into a bowl.  I stirred the lamb until it was evenly coated with the spices.  I let the lamb marinate in the spices for an hour.  The recipe recommends overnight, but I thought it turned out great with only an hour.

I added the remaining tablespoon of oil into a hot skillet.  I added the chopped onions.  I cooked the onions for about 5 minutes before adding the minced garlic cloves and fresh ginger.  I cooked the ginger, garlic, and onions for another 5 minutes or so.

I added the lamb and onion mixture into a crock pot.

I added the chicken broth, tomato paste, and honey.  I stirred the ingredients together and let it cook on low heat for three hours.

 After three hours, I added the carrots and chopped dried apricots.

I mixed together the tablespoon of water and cornstarch.  I added this mixture to the crock pot.

I let the lamb tagine cook for another half an hour.  The sauce thickened and the carrots became tender.

This was an outstanding dish.  The meat was tender and succulent.

The spices were phenomenal.  It was so flavorful.  The spices were key to this dish.  They blended well together and added to the excellent lamb.

It spices were warm, early, and exotic.  

The lamb was so tender, I didn't need a knife to cut the meat.

This is one of the best thinks I have made or tasted in a while.  It was on point.  I will definitely make it again.  It was a great recipe, and I think cooking it in a slow-cooker made it a little more convenient.

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