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Lamb Tagine with Dried Apricots

October 5, 2016
Photo Credit: Margot Foster

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.

Lamb Tagine with Dried Apricots




30 min


1h 00 min


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.

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