Why? Because Easy Tagine-Style Lamb Stew is the most delicious lamb stew I have ever made. Bite sized pieces of lamb shoulder, plump prunes and garbanzo beans simmered to succulent tenderness in a sweet yet slightly sour sauce, perfumed with the fragrances of the Near East – cinnamon, coriander, cumin, chiles. And so easy to make!
A Tagine is a clay pot with a conical lid, traditionally used in Moroccan and North African cooking. The design of the pot helps to return any moisture released from the cooking process back into the food – making this a very handy way to cook in parts of the world where water is scarce. If you own a heavy dutch oven or a pot with a tight fitting lid, you can cook “tagine-style”.
Amazingly, this complex tasting dish takes only about 15 minutes to assemble. Once all of the ingredients are in the pot, there is nothing to do but brew some green tea with mint (or pour a glass of wine) and wait for the Easy Tagine-Style Lamb Stew to cook for a couple of hours. The kitchen will smell so good.
I made this just for myself last night – planning to eat the leftovers for a few days. But, that was a mistake. This recipe deserves to be shared with your best friends. I will definitely be making this again.
Recipe adapted from The Wednesday Chef.
- 2 lbs. lamb shoulder
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ¼ cup apricot preserves
- 1 15.5 oz can reduced sodium garbanzo beans, drained
- 2 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup dried prunes, cut into quarters
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 box couscous (I used Near East brand)
- Cut the lamb into bite sized pieces. Discard any large pieces of fat. Keep any bones with meat on them - they can be cooked in the stew.
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot with a lid. When the oil is hot, add the lamb pieces and bones in batches and brown them on all sides.
- When all the lamb is browned, return the pieces to the pot and add the chopped onion, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and apricot preserves. Stir and cook until the spices release their fragrance and the onions soften slightly – about three minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and the garbanzo beans. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
- Cook on low heat for about 1½ to 2 hours until the lamb is very tender.
- Add a little more broth if needed along the way to keep all of the ingredients covered.
- Once the lamb is tender, add the dried prunes and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the couscous according to package directions.
- Serve the lamb and sauce over the couscous and garnish with fresh parsley.