Lamb Tagine with Dates

Lamb Tagine with DatesA firm family favourite, this tagine is sweet and intensely spiced.

So much so, I rarely make this dish for anybody else other than my partner. Not because it isn’t utterly delicious, but because it is almost bludgeoning in its intensity and is not for the fainthearted; this is real stick-to-your-ribs type cooking!

On the few occasions I have served it to others it has always gone down a treat, I just make sure that the friends I make it for like this style of cooking. The trick to getting away with serving a dish packed with this much flavour is to pair it with a simple side dish like plain couscous or a zingy lemon-soaked tabbouleh…or, if you are my partner, some plain white rice! And whilst I despair at the latter, it is a miracle that my partner likes this dish at all so I don’t push the matter, but I normally discourage such pandering and recommend couscous as the appropriate accompaniment.

For more delicious Moroccan recipes please click here or if you would like to read more about tagines please click here

Lamb Tagine with Dates: Serves 4

  • 8oog lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. saffron, soaked in 2 tbsp. boiling water
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 125g pitted dates
  • 200g green beans, trimmed
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp. runny honey

To Garnish:

  • Fresh coriander
  • Toasted almond flakes

Method:

  1. Combine the ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon and dried coriander in a bowl
  2. Add the meat and rub the spice mix over the cubes
  3. Leave to marinate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg. Celsius
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. of the olive oil in the bottom of your tagine or casserole
  6. Seal the meat in batches and set aside
  7. Add the last tbsp. of olive oil and sauté the onions until golden
  8. Add the garlic and ginger, continue to sauté for a couple of minutes
  9. Add the tomatoes and ground cloves
  10. Continue cooking on a high heat until the oil separates from the tomatoes, approx. 10 minutes
  11. Return the sealed lamb to the tagine/casserole and add the stock and saffron water – the stock should only cover the lamb halfway
  12. Season with salt & pepper
  13. Cover the tagine/casserole with a lid and cook in the oven for an hour
  14. Remove from the oven after the hour is up and add the dates
  15. Return to the oven and cook a for another 15 minutes
  16. Remove from the oven and add the green beans and drizzle with honey
  17. Return to the oven and cook a for another 15 minutes
  18. Take the lid off and allow to cook uncovered in the oven for a final 5 minutes
  19. Garnish with fresh coriander and toasted almond flakes

Serve with: Best eaten with either plain couscous or tabbouleh…or plain white rice, if you really must.

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