This is a classic Moroccan dish, always served with couscous. The choice of ingredients seems quite surprising, what with apricots, orange and cinnamon all mixed together, but give it a shot -- you might be surprised.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots

Ingredients Instructions
  1. Fry the onions and garlic in frying pan with olive oil until soft.
  2. Add the lamb and sear all over.
  3. Place the contents of the pan into Dutch oven or equivalent, together with the stock and ginger. Cover and cook very slowly for two hours.
  4. Extra credit: Strain out the lamb chunks, lay them out in a single layer on an oven-proof pan, toast them for 10 minutes or so in an oven at 175C. Place back into broth before serving.
  5. Add the apricots, sultanas, orange juice and zest, and spices. Cook for another 30 minutes.
  6. Serve with couscous, preferably with some fresh chopped coriander stirred into it.
Minor Variations

Vary spices at will; some find the recipe too sweet or just too "strange" as is, so reducing the amount of fruit or cinnamon may help. Consider adding chopped chilis or harissa for a hot edge, or do as the Moroccans do and add honey for an even sweeter taste. Lemon juice is an adequate (and less sweet) substitute for the orange.

Major Variations

Replace apricots, orange and cinnamon with olives, lemon and paprika for a different-tasting but equally classic tagine.

While I've never seen apricots paired with anything other than lamb during my travels in the Maghreb, in benighted sheepless places like Finland where decent lamb costs $30/kilo you may be forced to improvise. Beef should be OK, turkey works better than you'd think. I also fully intend to become the first person ever to try a reindeer tagine.

See Also

A variant of this recipe can be found under Spiced Apricot Couscous, except that it's missing the meat entirely and -- a bigger sin in my opinion -- it asks you to simmer the couscous in stock, instead of steaming it (which is the Right Thing to do). Then again, it's certainly easier to prepare that way if you're not fanatical about your food, so to each his own...

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