Many meat tagines (slowly simmered Moroccan stews) are cooked with some sort of fruit, like apple, pear, quince or date. The luscious combination of lamb and prunes here produces a slightly sticky but complex sweet sauce that's perfect with steamed couscous or crusty bread.
More Amazing Lamb Recipes
1 bunch of cilantro, tied in a bundle with kitchen string
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of saffron threads
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 1/2 cups water
3 cups pitted prunes (14 ounces), halved
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon orange-flower water (optional)
How to Make It
In a small dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds over moderate heat until golden, 45 seconds. Transfer the seeds to a plate.
In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, combine the oil, lamb, onion, cilantro, cinnamon stick, ginger, saffron, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to moderately low and cook, skimming the stew a few times, until the lamb is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the onion, cilantro and cinnamon stick and discard. Add the prunes to the casserole and simmer for 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb and prunes to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the honey and boil for 5 minutes. Return the lamb and prunes to the casserole and stir in the orange-flower water, if using. Season with salt. Transfer the stew to a bowl, sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve.
The lamb tagine can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
Couscous or crusty bread.
Prunes and honey give this lamb stew richness and a hint of sweetness, which is best matched by a deeply fruity, thick-textured Cabernet blend, such as one from Lebanon or the Languedoc region of France.
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Review Body: This was a very easy recipe and it did not disappoint. Big on flavor, tender, juicy - I could not find stew meat or shoulder meat, so I ended up using leg of lamb and left it to cook low and slow. Because it was leg, there wasn't any fat to skim off the broth. Don't skimp on the cilantro. It's well worth putting in the whole bunch. I served this with whole wheat couscous and Moroccan carrots. It's a great dish and I will definitely make it again.