Recipe: Super-Easy Lamb ‘Tagine’

An immediate disclaimer here, this recipe is in no way authentic. For one, I don’t even have a tagine (I’ve love one though!) and so it’s made in my Mother-in-Laws trusty Le Creuset. Sidenote: I believe they received it as a wedding present, and kindly lent it to us when we moved in together – I’m hoping we’ll be lucky enough to receive an orange/red on for our wedding so it can finally match the rest of our collection. Regardless of what it’s cooked in, I very much doubt the recipe is authentic either but it tastes delicious, makes a vast amount and doesn’t require every single spice from the supermarket.

This super-easy lamb tagine was borne out of an impulse purchase (when lamb chunks are reduced to less than £1 I can’t say no!) and a desire for something different. I do love a Lancashire hotpot, but this may be my new favourite way to slow-cook lamb.

It’s spicy from the harissa, sweet from the apricots, and the chickpeas add a lovely texture. The combination of spices used add a lovely complex flavour, and It’s full of chopped veggies. I’ve chosen to keep it thinner, more broth/stew like – if you prefer it thicker you could add a tin of chopped tomatoes (I’ve tried with my nomato sauce and it works well). It’s also delicious made without the lamb for a veggie alternative – I quite often make it like that for my work lunches.

It’s also great for using up leftover lamb – perfect for the week after Easter! Simply make the tagine, then once it’s all assembled add the lamb and allow to simmer until hot or you’re ready to eat.

Recipe – makes 4-5 generous portions (it freezes well)

  • 500g chopped lamb chunks
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 3 sticks of celery, halved and chopped
  • 3 carrots, quartered and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Small pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of harissa
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 100g ready-to-eat dried apricot, halved.
  • Vegetable stock, around 1 litre

Heat a little oil in a casserole dish, and fry the lamb over a high heat until sealed and slightly golden – you’ll probably have to do this in batches. Transfer the browned lamb to a bowl, and lower the heat. Fry the onions, carrot and celery, adding a little extra oil if necessary, for around 5 minutes until softed. Add the garlic and the spices, and continue frying for a few minutes.

Stir in the harissa, drained chickpeas, apricots and stock, then re-add the lamb. Cover and simmer on the hob for 1-2 hours, or pop in the over at around 140C. Once done, you can thicken with cornflour if you like, or just serve as it is (seasoned to taste). We love this with couscous, and perhaps some homemade flatbreads. Delicious!

I love the flavours in this, and would love to cook something more authentic someday – any recommendations for Moroccan recipes?