Moroccan Lamb Tagine

By Antony Worrall Thompson (Serves 6–8)

Recipe by Antony Worrall Thompson – Moroccan Lamb Tagine
  • 1½ tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 1½ tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lamb shoulder, knuckle removed and cut into 5cm (2 inch) pieces—you’ll need 1.25kg (2½lb) in total
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp argan oil
  • 2 large onions, grated
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100g (4oz) ready-to-eat apricots, cut in half
  • 50g (2oz) ready-to-eat dates, cut in half
  • 75g (3oz) flaked almonds
  • 50g (2oz) sultanas or raisins
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tsp saffron strands, soaked in a little warm water
  • 600ml (1 pint) tomato juice
  • 600ml (1 pint) fresh lamb or chicken stock (from a carton is fine)
  • 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Jewelled couscous, to serve.
  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) or fan ovens 130°C from cold. Place the ginger, black pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, paprika and cayenne in a small bowl and mix to combine, then tip half into a large bowl. Add the lamb pieces and toss until evenly coated. Cover with plastic film and chill overnight if time allows.
  2. Heat a large casserole dish and add one tablespoon of the olive oil and one tablespoon of the argan oil. Tip in half of the lamb and cook over a fairly high heat until evenly browned, then tip on to a plate. Repeat until all of the lamb has been cooked. Add the remaining olive and Argan oil to the casserole and stir in the remaining spices and the onions, then cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and continue to cook for 2–3 minutes or until the onions are softened but not browned, stirring.
  3. Add the cooked lamb pieces to the casserole with the apricots, dates, almonds, sultanas or raisins, honey, saffron mixture, tomato juice and lamb or chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hour. After an hour, stir in the chopped tomatoes, and return the casserole to the oven for another hour or until the lamb is completely tender but still holding its shape and the sauce has thickened. To serve, transfer the lamb to a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over the coriander and parsley. Serve hot with the jewelled couscous.

(Ruth suggests drizzling more argan oil over the dish before serving)