This recipe for lamb tagine creates a tender, aromatic and hearty meal. Take a virtual trip to Morocco by making it for dinner tonight!
The powerful flavors come together in this recipe in a truly amazing way. Tangy apricots, saffron, cinnamon, and onions combined with deliciously tender lamb is the ultimate comfort dish.
Next time you need a bowl of something warm and cozy, try this instead of the usual winter meal.
What is a tagine?
For those who aren’t familiar, a tagine is an African cooking pot that’s typically made out of clay or ceramic. It has a round, shallow base and a cone shaped, vented top. Tagines have been used for centuries as the perfect dish to use for slow cooking!
Recipe for Lamb Tagine
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Olive Oil - Use a rich extra virgin olive oil to maximize the flavor.
- Almond Slivers - To blanch almonds, simply place them in boiling water for 1 minute.
Don’t boil too long, or they’ll become soft! After boiling, drain and rinse immediately with cold water.
- Red Onions - It’s important to use red onions because of their potent, bitter flavor. However, if you’re in a pinch, yellow onions are an adequate substitute.
- Ginger Paste - Store bought is fine, but making your own is so easy! Just peel about 1 pound of ginger and blend it with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Voila, you now have homemade ginger paste!
- Coriander Seeds - Remember, these seeds should be crushed. Whole coriander seeds will ruin the texture of the dish.
- Lamb - It can be shoulder or leg meat. As long as it’s 2 pounds and cubed, it will work for this recipe.
- Dates - Remove the seeds! Just like the coriander, date seeds will ruin the texture of the meal.
- Ras el Hanout - This Moroccan spice blend is optional, but highly recommended. The flavor this seasoning brings to the dish as a whole is simply mouthwatering.
This lamb tagine recipe isn’t just delicious - it’s easy to make, too!
- Sauté the ingredients. Start by heating up the butter and oil in the tagine. Then, stir in the almonds until they’re golden. Once golden, add the diced onions and garlic, stirring frequently.
Aftew a few minutes, add the ginger paste, saffron threads, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Next, add the cubed pieces of lamb and stir everything together and continue to sauté for approximately 4 minutes.
- Add water. Pour enough water into the tagine to cover the meat. Bring the mixture to a boil before reducing the heat and letting it simmer until the meat is tender. This should take about 1 hour.
- Add the aromatics. After letting the meat simmer for an hour, add the dates, apricots and orange peel. Stir everything together in the tagine and simmer for another 20 minutes. Enjoy the mouthwatering smells filling your kitchen!
- Stir in the honey. This step is my favorite, because you get to watch your dish become fully realized! After stirring in the honey, simmer for about 10 more minutes. After that, your sauce should be syrupy and ready to go. If you decide to add ras el hanout, toss it in with the honey.
- Serve! This dish is delicious with a garnish of chopped fresh cilantro. Serve the meal with a side of couscous and pita bread. Enjoy!
Lamb tagine will stay fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Lamb Tagine with Dates and Apricots
- 1 tbsp olive oil (See Note 1)
- 1 tbsp butter (See Note 1)
- 2 tbsp blanched almond slivers
- 2 red onions diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp ginger paste
- pinch saffron threads
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp coriander seeds crushed
- 2 lbs lamb shoulder or leg cubed
- 8 dates seeded
- 8 dried apricots
- 1 orange (See Note 2)
- 2 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp Ras el Hanout optional
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- Heat the butter and oil in a tagine (See Note 3), or heavy casserole baking dish. Stir in the almonds and sauté until golden. Add the diced onions and garlic, stir and cook over low heat until golden. Stir in the ginger paste, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the cubed lamb pieces and stir to make sure everything is coated with the onion and spices. Sauté for 4 minutes.
- Next pour enough water in to cover the meat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
- Add the dates, apricots and orange peel, stir to mix and cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the honey and ras-el-hanout (optional) and simmer another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce should be syrupy. If it is too watery, allow to simmer and thicken with lid off for 5 minutes, or add some water if necessary.
- Top with chopped cilantro and serve along side couscous and bread of choice.
- You can also substitute the oil and butter for 2 tablespoons ghee.
- I use a vegetable peeler and get 4 strips of orange peel, no white part.
- Be sure to have cured your tagine prior to it's first use (good post here) and use a diffuser between the tagine and the heat source, be it flame electric burner.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.