This dish contains a heady mix of spices and melt in your mouth lamb, with apricots and sultanas that dissolve away into the stew, creating a sweet counterpoint to the strong spices. A hint of something bitter from the preserved lemon, and freshness in the form of coriander and parsley makes this a memorable dish, perfect for a dinner party or a relaxing sunday night.
The best thing about this tagine is that most of the work is done without you, meaning you can sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the intoxicating aromas while the oven works it's magic. The smell that fills the house is almost better than the taste. Almost.
Ingredients 1kg diced lamb shoulder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
2 brown onions, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp saffron
750ml vegetable, lamb or chicken stock
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
120g dried apricots, halved
3 tbsp flaked almonds
1 preserved lemon, interior pulp discarded, skin finely chopped
handful of coriander, chopped
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
In a large bowl, combine the diced lamb and half of the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, sweet paprika and hot paprika. Make sure that each piece of meat is covered in spices. Cover and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celsius.
In a large heavy-based casserole, warm the olive oil over a medium heat. In small batches, brown the meat on all sides, once browned remove from casserole and set aside.
the browned, spiced lamb
Add the onion, garlic and remaining spices to the pan, mixing well to combine. Cook over a medium heat until onions are softened and lightly browned, stirring often so that the spices do not burn.
Add the sultanas, saffron, apricots and flaked almonds to the pan, stirring these through the onion and spices before returning the meat to the pan.
prepped, colourful ingredients
aromatic spice mix
all mixed together
Add the stock and chopped tomatoes to the pan. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Season with sea salt and cracked black pepper and transfer to preheated oven to cook for 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is very tender.
ready to go in the oven
Transfer tagine to the stovetop. Stir through preserved lemon. Lift out the meat with a draining spoon and set aside. Reduce liquid over high heat until thick (approximately 10 minutes).
Return meat to the sauce and stir through parsley and coriander. Scatter with extra parsley and serve with couscous.