Recently I have come across several Moroccan dishes that have sounded pretty interesting. They are interesting because they tend to include a lot of spices and flavour combinations that I would not normally think of using. The Moroccan dishes also used dried fruit and harissa for some sweetness and some heat.
I have also come across several tagine dishes. A tagine is a clay pot with a lid that braises meat very efficiently. The tagine can be baked in the oven or it can be cooked on the stove if the tagine has a metal bottom.
In the end I decided to go with a Moroccan lamb tagine . This dish could also be made with beef but I went with lamb since there is a lot of nice looking lamb in the stores now. Since I don't have a tagine I braised the meat in a covered pot at low heat on the stove. The Moroccan inspired lamb tagine turned out really well. The flavour combinations were really amazing. The spices, the sweetness and the heat all balanced out well. I served the lamb tagine on lemon and mint couscous and garnished it with toasted almonds and cilantro and parsley. Overall it was a very tasty meal.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 lemon (zest)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 pound lamb (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used chopped sun dried tomatoes)
- 1-2 cups beef stock
- 2 carrots (cut into bite sized pieces)
- 1/2 cup dried apricots (chopped)
- 1/2 cup dried dates (chopped)
- 1/2 cup dried figs (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons harissa
- 1 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon toasted almond slices
- Mix the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, garlic, coriander, saffron, lemon zest and oil in a ziplock bag, add the lamb, mix well and marinate the fridge for a few hours to overnight.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add the lamb, brown well on all sides and set aside.
- Add the onions and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger and saute for about a minute.
- Add the lamb, tomato paste, beef stock, carrots, apricots, dates and figs bring to a boil, reduce the meat and simmer covered until the lamb is fall apart tender, about 2-3 hours.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the honey and harissa.
- Serve garnished with cilantro, parsley and toasted almonds.
Slow Cooker: Optionally implement steps 1-4, place everything except the cilantro, parsley and almond in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-10 hours or high for 2-4 hours.
Lemon and Mint Couscous
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup couscous
- 1 lemon (juice)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon mint (chopped)
- Bring the water to a boil and mix in the couscous.
- Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Mix the lemon juice and oil in a bowl.
- Mix the lemon and oil mixture and mint into the couscous.