Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Cilantro

One day I will buy myself a fancy tagine (or even not so fancy tagine).  But realistically speaking that’s not going to happen until my kitchen doubles, and for now I’ve been content to make braises and slow cook the heck out of meat in my Staub Dutch oven.  lamboncouscous2

I had a hankering for cooking something that wasn’t just chicken or beef, and so Matt suggested lamb, which of course triggered a rabbit hole search on some of my favorite recipe sources — Food52 and Epicurious.

Lamb browning

Since I trust Epicurious ratings, it was pretty easy to narrow it down to this delicious looking tagine.  Slow cooked all day and with some cilantro thrown on top, it was so good that I was only sad that we hadn’t doubled the recipe.  The original recipe called for a spice blend that I did not have on hand, but I had a Baharat mixture that I made a while ago and just stored for all my Moroccan recipes and so I tossed that in instead.  I also did not have quite enough dried apricots (time for a Nuts.com order!) but I did have a bunch of golden raisins on hand and threw those in.  The result?  Fantastic.

cilantro

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 5 garlic cloves (2 whole, 3 chopped)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds 1″ cubes lamb shoulder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 teaspoons Baharat spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices
  • 2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup halved dried apricots (or golden raisins)
  • Steamed couscous
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Place chickpeas in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2″. Let soak overnight.
  2. Drain chickpeas; return to same saucepan. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and cinnamon stick. Add water to cover by 2″. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a medium bowl. Add onion to pot; reduce heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic, Baharat , and ginger. Stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lamb with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Add 2 1/2 cups stock. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in chickpeas; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in apricots; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Spoon couscous onto a large, shallow platter, forming a large well in center. Spoon tagine into center. Sprinkle cilantro over.

Adapted from Epicurious

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