main dish, recipe

Lamb Apricot Tagine

I have a visiting house guest for the next two weeks. She is really fun, expressive, silly, and easy-going. But she also sheds a lot and begs for food at 5:30AM. Her name is Leela, and she is my sister Corinne’s cat.
Most people wouldn’t consider this the highlight of their week, but I’m not like most people. I love having someone waiting patiently at the door for me to come home after a long day at work. How nice is that? Plus, she gives really good snuggles.

And, because I’m not like most people, I try out new recipes to celebrate. But they are for me and Ben, not Leela. Don’t worry Corinne, I’m not feeding your cat people-food. Β My new recipe was for the North African dish Tagine.

Tagine is like a slow cooker except more elegantly presented and definitely more delicious! It is a mix of vegetables and meat that are slowly cooked in a conical-lidded earthenware dish.
I got my tagine dish from Ben’s mother, Marylene, who also passed along her most favourite recipes. I am so pleased to share it with you, my devote readers, because it is delicious and nutritious! Not to mention dead-easy. Oh, and if you don’t have a tagine dish that is okay. You can make this in a lidded casserole dish as well.
So dive in! Make tagine for dinner tonight. Because we all know nothing is as comforting as warm slow-cooked food, especially in springtime snow storms.

Lamb Apricot Tagine

Ingredients:

– 1.2 kg stewing lamb, cut in bite-size pieces
– 18 dried apricots
– 1 kg carrots, peeled and cut in inch-thick rounds
– 0.5 kg zucchini (optional), cut in bite size pieces
– 1 lemon
– 3 yellow onions, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, diced
– 1/2 tbsp dried coriander
– 3 tbsps olive oil
– 1 tsp honey
– salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, toss together the lamb, apricots, carrots, zucchini, onions, and garlic in a large bowl. Add the zest from the lemon.
2. Add the coriander, oil, honey, and salt and pepper. Stir carefully. Add all the ingredients into your tagine or casserole dish, and add 1/3 cup water.
3. Cook for 1.5- 2hrs. The longer the better! Taste and season again with salt and pepper if required. Add the juice of one lemon.

Serve with couscous.

*note: this recipe serves 6, but my tagine dish is for 2-3 people. Be aware of the size of the tagine or baking dish you choose to use.

About the tagine dish: Be sure to follow the instructions about using your tagine dish safely! Before you use it, I recommend soaking it in cold water over night to avoid cracking during the cooking process. Additionally, before you place your tagine in the oven, fill it with warm water until you are ready to add your ingredients.