Recipe

Lamb & apricot tagine with chermoula

Make this Moroccan traditional lamb tagine with apricots for your next special occasion.

  • 3 hrs 40 mins cooking
  • Serves 8
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Transform an inexpensive lamb shoulder into a thick, aromatic Moroccan stew of meltingly tender meat and dried fruit.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 kilograms boneless lamb shoulder, excess fat trimmed, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 dried long red chillies
  • 2 400g cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 litre (4 cups) chicken stock
  • ¼ cup (90g) honey
  • ½ cup (75g) dried apricots, halved
  • ⅓ cup (55g) natural almonds, toasted, chopped coarsely
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve
Chermoulla
  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Method

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • 2
    Make chermoulla.Process or coriander leaves (you will need 2 cups of leaves), stalks and roots until coarsely chopped, add remaining ingredients; process until smooth. Season to taste.
  • 3
    Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 7 litre (28-cup) cast iron or other flameproof casserole dish (see tip) over high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Cook lamb, in three batches (adding remaining oil between batches), turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until browned all over; transfer each batch to a large bowl.
  • 4
    Return lamb to dish with garlic, chillies, tomatoes, stock, 1 cup (250ml) water, honey and half the chermoulla; bring to the boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to oven; bake for 2 hours. Add apricots; bake, covered, for a further 30 minutes or until lamb is tender. Season to taste.
  • 5
    Transfer lamb and apricots to a large heatproof bowl; cover loosely to keep warm. Strain sauce, discard solids; return sauce to dish. Bring to the boil over high heat; simmer for 15 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Return lamb and apricots to sauce; heat until warmed through.
  • 6
    Serve the lamb tagine topped with remaining chermoulla, the almonds and coriander leaves.

Notes

We used a 25cm x 33cm oval cast iron casserole dish.Serve with lemon pistachio couscous.

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