Recipe: Lamb Tagine

Lamb tagine

This recipe is adapted from The New Best Recipe, my most-often-used cookbook. The flour used to thicken the broth isn’t traditional, as is typical from the editors of Cook’s Illustrated, but I prefer it this way.

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 300 degrees. Season the lamb generously with salt and pepper to taste. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large ovenproof Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  2. Add half the meat so that the individual pieces are close together but not touching. Cook, not moving the pieces until the sides touching the pot are well browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using tongs, turn each piece and continue cooking until most sides are well browned, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer the meat to a medium bowl, add another 1 tablespoon of the oil to the pot and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Brown the remaining lamb in the same manner; transfer the meat to the bowl and set aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and swirl to coat the pan bottom. Add the onions and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently and vigorously, scraping the pot bottom with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the flour, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, and cayenne and stir until onions are evenly coated and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Gradually add the broth, scraping the pot bottom and edges with the wooden spoon to loosen the remaining browned bits and spices, and stirring until the flour is dissolved and the liquid is thick. Stir in the tomatoes, apricots, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Add the browned lamb and accumulated juices in the bowl, pushing down the meat to submerge the pieces. Return to a simmer, cover the pot, and place it in the oven. Cook for 1¼ hours.
  6. Remove the pot from the oven and stir in the chickpeas. Cover and return the pot to the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and the chickpeas are heated through, about 15 minutes. If serving immediately, spoon off any fat that rises to the top. (The stew can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Spoon off the hardened fat and bring back to a simmer over medium-low heat.) Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the minced parsley and adjust the seasonings. Serve immediately, garnishing each bowl with almonds, if desired.