Prepare this tagine a day ahead, and you will be rewarded with more complex flavors. Wildflower honey provides an aromatic essence to this dish in lieu of the traditional orange flower water. You can add one-quarter cupfuls of water or broth to sauce during cooking if too thick. Serve with flatbread.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds lamb stew meat
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
1 cup less-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to coat. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add lamb mixture; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides and stirring frequently. Add onion, and cook 2 minutes, stirring once. Stir in broth, honey, and cinnamon stick. Cover and bake at 425° for 45 minutes. Stir in apricots, and bake 15 minutes. Discard cinnamon stick, and sprinkle evenly with slivered almonds.
Wine note: Lamb, the most traditional meat of the Mediterranean, is extremely wine-friendly. From cabernet sauvignon to syrah and Bordeaux to Rioja, there's hardly a red wine that doesn't work with it. In this dish, the savoriness of the lamb is underscored by the fruity sweetness of the apricots and honey. This goes well with zinfandel, a thick, rich wine that has a dense fruitiness of its own. Try Folie à Deux's 2002 zinfandel from Amador County, California ($18). -Karen MacNeil
This recepe is perfect for a larger dinner party as most of work can be done ahead of time thus allowing the cook to spend the time with guest. This has been a huge hit and I'm often asked for repeats as everyone loves the flavors. It also reheats well for next day, but we rarely have leftovers. I have substituted beef as it is less expansive and turns this into a family dinner -nice but not quite as good as the original.
Very good, but I am glad that I omitted the cinnamon stick, used only 2 tsp. of honey, added garlic, crushed red pepper, and parsley, and baked it at 3, rather than 425. It also needed a bit of lemon at the end for brightness. Served with steamed green beans and whole wheat couscous.
Had some lamb stew meat I needed to use, but only one pound of it,so rather than halve the recipe, I added some diced hubbard squash to the mix and it turned out very nicely. Used my homemade chicken broth, which is a dark roasted broth and it filled in well for the beef broth. Served with whole wheat cous cous mixed with some frozen peas and sprinkled dish with chopped parsley. Used Mediterranean dried apricots for their tart flavor. Like most tagines, this recipe can be altered to meet what you have on hand. Very nice.
Wow -- a hit. Brought this to a dinner party with 20 women last night and it was a huge success. I followed the recipe exactly. Served with couscous. It was fast for a stew, and easy to prepare, with a rich, sweet and complex flavor. This will be great on our menu this coming fall and winter.
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