{recipe} Moroccan Lamb Tagine

My dad got a tagine from Williams-Sonoma for Christmas so this was supposed to be in a tagine, but then I read that a ceramic tagine cracks on a gas flame (!?!?!?) so you’re not really supposed to use them. Thanks a lot, Williams-Sonoma. That is completely idiotic. So, hey, you know what, I decided to just make this in a pot. But in my heart, it’s a tagine. Also, it’s delicious. It goes wonderfully with couscous and a side of plain yogurt.

It added preserved lemons, which seem gross on their own but are fantastic as a seasoning. They also came from Williams-Sonoma and were super overpriced, but now my Dad and I are trying to make our own preserved lemons so once we’ve perfected that process I will share it.

One of the best things I learned in cooking school was to mise en place (French for “put in place”) – you know, to get all your ingredients out and measured before you start cooking, like they do on TV. I used to think it was silly to do that, but once you get in the habit you soon learn that it makes everything go much more smoothly and quickly. In this case, something possessed me to lay out all my mise en place on this nice plate, but I don’t normally mise en place with such an attention to aesthetics.

Moroccan Lamb Tagine

serves 4.


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 2 onions, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pinch saffrom
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, cracked
  • 1 1/2 lbs. lamb cubes
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 12 pitted prunes, cut in half, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, and drained
  • 8 dried apricots, cut in half, soaked in hot water for 15 minutes, and drained
  • 4 strips of orange peel (no white part)
  • 2 Tablespoons preserved lemon, chopped
  • handful of chopped cilantro for garnish


  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. (Or use a tagine, if you dare.)
  • Add pine nuts and toast until brown, stirring often. (It will happen fast.) Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, to soften them.
  • When onions and garlic are soft, add ginger, cinnamon, saffron, and coriander and cook 1 minute to release the fragrances.
  • Add lamb to pot with the wine and enough water to cover the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and cook about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the prunes, apricots, orange peel, and preserved lemon and stir to combine. Cook about 20-30 minutes more until sauce is thickened and has a jammy texture. Remove cinnamon stick. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve over couscous and garnish with cilantro.

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1 Response

  1. August 11, 2011

    […] outside my window, but I can split the difference with this chicken tagine. I previously shared a Moroccan lamb tagine recipe, and this one is about as easy and delicious as that one, but with completely different […]