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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Moroccan Lamb tagine with dried plums and almonds

We received a tagine as wedding gift several years ago. It is an excellent cooking vessel that you can use in many ways. The pointed lid allows steam to circulate inside the dish while cooking. This dish is the most prestigious of the Morrocan tagine tradition. This recipe is adapted from a recipe provided by Emile Henry. It is very delicious and quite mild. Also very healthy. Of course. :)

1.2 kg lamb shoulder, cut into pieces
500g dried plums (prunes)
2 cups whole raw almonds
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
4 eggs, hard boiled
3 white onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp. cinnamon
4 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp. fresh ginger, finely diced
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. saffron
handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
handful of flat parsley, chopped
4 Tbsp. organic peanut oil
1 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. sucanat (crushed fine)
salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste


1. Heat 3 Tbsp. of oil and the butter on med/high heat in the tagine. When hot, add the lamb pieces and fry a bit, add the onions, garlic, half the powdered cinnamon, ginger, saffron, cumin and salt and pepper. When the meat is golden, add 2 cups of water, cover and cook on med/high for 45 minutes. Add more water if required, stir often.

2. In a separate frying pan, quickly heat the sesame seeds (without oil), just until they start to brown. set aside

3. Also during this time, cook the almonds in boiling water for 15 minutes. then take off the skins and fry them in a little oil until golden

4. After the lamb has been cooking about 30 minutes, take a little sauce and put in a saucepan with 1 cup of water, add the dried plums, the remaining powdered cinnamon, cinnamon sticks, sucanat and a pinch of salt. cover and cook over med heat for 15 minutes. drain the dried plums, remove the cinnamon sticks.

5. When the meat is cooked and the sauce reduced, add the cooked dried plums, stir then sprinkle with sesame seeds, almonds, parsley and cilantro. Cut the boiled eggs in half and arrange around the edge. salt/pepper to taste.

6. serve at table as is. We served ours with brown rice. Tagine is traditionally eaten with your fingers but we chose to have more sauce and use forks. :)

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