In the Kitchen with Mina: Lamb and Apricot Tagine

Dear Constant Reader,

Usually when I write up my recipes here for you they are vintage or burlesque-related. However, my student, Cersei Dior, asked me for the recipe for the Moroccan tagine I made the other night. I didn’t plan to share this one with my adoring public, so there are no photos of the ingredients or process.

Lamb & Apricot Tagine
4 Tbs. butter
2 lbs. lamb, cut into 2″ cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. turmeric or saffron
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt to taste
2 onions, sliced thinly
1 cup whole dried apricots

The night before soak the apricots in water.

Melt the butter in a heavy pot and brown the lamb on all sides. Season with ground spices and garlic. Cook a few minutes. Add only one of the onions, and the water from the apricots (but not the apricots, not yet). Add enough additional water to cover meat. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Add second onion and more water if necessary. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes.

Add apricots and cook until meat and fruit are tender. Serve with couscous, rice, or bread.

A few notes:
My lamb had bones, so I had to hack the meat off. Thus I did not have neat cubes, but raggedy bits instead. The meat did not brown so well, because I dumped it all in at once and the pan was too crowded. Batches are better. Next time I might use olive oil instead of butter.

I used saffron and ground it with some salt in my mortar. I don’t think it had a noticeable impact on the color or flavor and next time I’d use the turmeric. I’m not a big fan of capsaicin heat, so I only added a quarter teaspoon of cayenne. You could add a *lot* more, if you love hot stuff.

I let the tagine simmer for about half an hour after I added the apricots. I left it uncovered to reduce the liquid and make a thicker sauce. I think I’d halve the apricots (the fruits themselves, not the quantity) because the meat/fruit ratio was a little unbalanced.

Here it is, over couscous.

I’m looking forward to seeing how it is reheated. Most stews are better after the flavors have had a chance to hang out and get to know one another. Also, it’s easy to remove some of the fat. The recipe is pretty versatile: one could use chicken or a mix of chicken & lamb and/or other dried fruits.

And there you are, Cersei! Is it at all like what you had in Morocco?


Published in: on 11 May 2015 at 10:23 am  Leave a Comment  

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