In reality, I probably make tagine more often than I make chili: fewer ingredients are necessary to throw a quick pot of this together, and they’re usually ingredients I have on hand. This for dinner is a great way to spice up a blah week and the one that I usually
make as my go-to is courtesy of Rachel Ray, which uses chicken with prunes. However, because the one I made tonight is lamb with apricots, so it’s new to me. Tagine, like paella is both a dish and a cooking vessel. A tagine looks sort of like a top (you know those spinning toys from 100 years ago?), and the strange shape allows the condensation from cooking to filter back down into the dish. The low and slow process creates meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender. Because I don’t have a tagine, I just used a stock pot. In reality, I should have used the Dutch oven that I got for Christmas over a year ago but I have yet to season it, and I want to do that properly before I use it (adding to the mental to-do list for this winter…). This stew is typically served with couscous or rice, but I used barley because I had some in the pantry. Do as you wish. This is really just a new flavor palate to try- throw in some diced butternut squash rather than meat and you have a hearty vegetarian dish.
The finished product
2 TB olive oil
1 pound lamb stew meat
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp of turmeric
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and black pepper
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 TB honey
2-3 cups chicken stock
1 can of garbanzo beans
10 dried apricots, roughly chopped
Mint, for garnish
Parsley, for garnish
1. In a Ziploc bag, combine the lamb, 1 teaspoon of the oil, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and pepper. Let marinate for a few hours. This isn’t completely necessary if you don’t have the time or forget.
2. Heat the remaining oil in a stock pot, Dutch oven or tagine. Over a moderate heat, cook the onions until nice and soft.
3. Add the lamb to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes and honey and about half the stock and cover cooking for an hour, adding more stock if necessary or if desired
5. After about an hour, add the apricots and garbanzos and the rest of the stock. Cook for another half hour to an hour
6. Remove from heat and scatter over chopped fresh parsley and a bit of mint. Enjoy!
My bowl, before
My bowl, after. I forgot how delicious this food is, and I was a little depressed when I was finished.