By Tracey Seaman
“Tagine” refers to a Moroccan braise and the dish traditionally used for cooking the tagine. You don’t need a tagine pot to make this; we are using an enameled cast iron casserole pot, and browning the lamb first for an extra rich broth.
- For the Spice Mixture:
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ¼ teaspoon decorticated cardamom
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Two 2-inch cinnamon sticks
- For the Lamb Stew:
- 2 pounds boneless lamb stew meat (3/4-inch cubes)
- Ghee or Avocado oil
- Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 medium-large yellow onion, diced 1/3 inch
- 2 cups beef broth or chicken broth
- 4 ounces dried apricots
- 2 ounces Sultana raisins
- 1 box of quick couscous
- 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro or parsley
- Combine cumin and coriander in a small heavy skillet and cook over very low heat until fragrant and toasted, 5 to 7 minutes; cool 5 minutes. Transfer spices to a spice grinder with the cardamom and process until finely ground. Stir in the paprika and turmeric and set aside with the cinnamon sticks.
- Preheat the oven to 300ºF. Heat 1 tablespoon of ghee or oil in a 4-quart enameled casserole or heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add one-fourth of the lamb, season with salt and pepper and cook, turning infrequently until nicely browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer the seared meat to a bowl and repeat with the remaining lamb in 3 more batches, adding more fat as needed.
- Add the onion and another tablespoon of ghee to the same pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the spice mixture and cook 1 minute more. Return the seared lamb and any juices to the pot, along with the broth, cover and bring to a simmer.
- Transfer the pot to the oven and braise gently until meat is tender, about 1 hour. Meantime, cook the couscous according to package directions.
- Remove the lamb from the oven to the stovetop and stir in the apricots. Let sit for several minutes. (You can cook the stew up to 2 days ahead if desired.). Serve lamb atop couscous, and garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley.