Moroccan Lamb Chermoula Tagine

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Moroccan Lamb Chermoula Tagine {Moroccan Lamb Stew}

What is a Tagine?

A tagine is a traditional Moroccan stew made of lamb, chicken, fish or vegetables cooked with a blend of aromatic Eastern spices including cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper.  The dish takes on a medley of complimenting flavors and can include olives, preserved lemons and dried fruits such as apricots and dates.  It's a delicious balance of sweet sour spiced and savory in a rich slow cooked stew. 

Traditionally tagine is made in an earthenware clay pot and it has a flat base with a cylindrical cone top.   The cone top is used to trap condensed steam liquid and return it to the base of the stew, keeping it moist with juice.   Traditionally it is slow cooked over hot charcoal.   The Moroccan lamb tagine we are making today is made on the stove top in a thick bottomed pot with a tight fitting lid.  I guess I could refer to it as a Moroccan lamb stew, but it includes many of the spices and flavors in your traditional tagine. 

We use our North African Chermoula as a base marinade and sauce for this stew.  It contains most of the ingredients that you would make for a lamb tagine including cumin, coriander, turmeric, cilantro, olive oil, preserved lemon and saffron.  Along with the chermoula we used Ras El Hanout spice mix for the meat marinade and added onions, dried dates and apricots to the stew.  We finished the dish with fresh chopped cilantro and toasted sliced almonds.  

This tagine came out phenomenal.  Its such a hearty rich stew and the complimenting clash of the sweet spices (Ras El Hanout) with the dates and apricots along with the tangy lemony chermoula is delicious.  I would definitely recommend this dish when entertaining on a fall or winter evening.  Serve it with couscous and fire grilled pita bread.  

Moroccan Lamb Chermoula Tagine Ingredients:

1.5 lb boneless leg lamb or boneless lamb sirloin (cut into 1 inch dice)
1 Tbs Ras El Hanout Moroccan Spice Mix
1 Bottle Wozz! North African Chermoula Sauce (1/3 cup is for marinade, 1/3 cup is for stewing sauce, and the last 1/3 cup in the bottle will be stirred in during the last few minutes of cooking)
1 Medium Sized Onion sliced 
1 Cup Beef Stock or water
1 Cup of Degleet Noor Dried Dates (tightly packed in cup)  
3 Ounces or 1/2 Cup of Chopped Dried Apricots (we used whole dried apricots and cut into dice size)
1/3 Cup Sliced Almonds 
1 Tbs Butter
Chopped Fresh Cilantro
Salt

Method:

Toss your diced lamb in Ras El Hanout spice mix until evenly coated.  Add 1/3 cup Wozz! North African Chermoula to lamb, lightly mix so well combined and marinate refrigerated for at least 1 hour, we left it to marinate overnight.

Brown off your lamb in small batches on the stovetop, on medium high heat in a large thick bottom deep pan with a tight fitting lid.

Add half of your sliced onions to the lamb, reserving the rest for later in the dish.  Add the beef stock or water (we used water) along with another 1/3 cup of Wozz! North African Chermoula Sauce. Stir to combine.  Cover pot with lid and turn the heat down to a very low simmer.  Allow to simmer for 1.5 hours.  Stirring occasionally. 

Add the remaining onion, dates and chopped apricots and continue to simmer 30 minutes or more with lid on until the lamb is superbly tender.  (cooking times will vary depending on cut of lamb used)

Remove lid and allow to simmer until the sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. 

During the last few minutes of cooking, you can toast your almonds for garnish.  In a small pan on stovetop add your butter and sauté almonds until lightly browned, take off heat and set aside.

Once your stew has thickened, add the remaining 1/3 cup of Wozz! North African Chermoula and fold into stew.  Season with salt to taste and cook for another couple minutes so it is hot to serve.

Transfer stew to serving dish and garnish with chopped cilantro and toasted almonds.  Serve with couscous and grilled pita bread.  

Enjoy! 

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