Tayin de Cordero: Lamb Tajine (Tagine)


Simply put, it's Moroccan Stew. The authentic but funny looking apparatus that its cooked in is also called a tajine. It's a clay base with a cone shaped lid. A dutch oven can substitute.

This recipe has lots of ingredients but it's really quite easy. Great for groups, can be mostly prepared in advance. And it keeps well; it's delicious(er) the following day.

By the way, the # sign is short for pounds. I don't have any idea where that abbreviation originated. But I'm curious.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil (virgin)
  • 2 onions - fine rings
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 kg leg of lamb leg [4#] - deboned & cubed

  • 2 T ras el hanout (a Moroccan spice mix)
  • 1 g saffron (½ t strands) [a pinch]
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • ½ t turmeric
  • 1 t paprika (normal, not hot)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t white pepper
  • water

  • 150 g dried apricots [½C]
  • 150 g prunes [1C] - destoned
  • 150 g dried figs [½C]
  • 100 g raisins - dark [¼C]
  • 150 g macadamia nuts - slightly cruched (almonds are the norm) (reserve a few)
  • 500 g potatoes [1#] - batons (batones/sticks)
  • 250 g carrots [½#] - batons (batones/sticks)

  • 250 g tomatoes [½#] - crushed (canned, jars, whatever)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro - chopped leaves (reserve a couple of sprigs for decoration)
Procedure:
  1. Brown the onions
  2. Add the lamb and brown that too
  3. Add the spices
  4. Cover with water
    • get it boiling
    • reduce to a simmer
    • cover
    • cook for 15 minutes
  5. After those 15 minutes remove a ½ cup of the cooking liquid
  6. Soak the dried fruits in the liquid (top up with water to cover, if needed)
    • set aside
  7. Continue cooking for 15 minutes more (now we're up to 30 minutes)
  8. Add the carrots, fruits & and macadamias (reserve some for dusting on top later)
  9. Cook for 15 more (adds up to 45 minutes)
  10. Check the doneness of the lamb - when just about there…
    • Add the potatoes
  11. Cook for 10 more (adds up to almost 60 minutes)
  12. Add tomatoes, chopped cilantro
  13. Cook for 5 minutes (that makes about an hour)
  14. - Done -
  15. Dust crushed macadamias on top and decorate with a few leaves of cilantro
Notes:
  1. Everything eventually goes into this one single pot so select a size that will hold it all and allow room to stir stuff.
  2. I used my 7-spice mix of ras-el-hanout; not my 45-spice mixture. I actually bought these when I was in Morocco so they are super authentic. Oh, I bought the tagine pan there too.
  3. Brown the lamb in batches if you have to. Avoid piling it in layers in your pan; it won't brown if there's too much in there
  4. Before adding the tomatoes
  5. When I use chopped cilantro I like to use only the leaves; not any of the stems
  6. Many people don't seem to like cilantro. This is cooked, not raw, and has quite a different taste. Or chicken out and use parsley(?)
Short version:
  • Total cooking time is probably just over an hour (depending on the cut of meat used)
  • Brown onions, then meat
  • Add spices, stir, add water to cover, simmer
    • At some point soak the dried fruit in some cooking liquid
  • Add carrots, fruits and nuts in the last ½ hour
  • Add potatoes when the meat is tender (probably in the last 15 minutes)
  • Add the tomatoes & cilantro when the potatoes are just about done and bring the dish back up to temperature
  • Decorate with nuts and cilantro
  • - Done -

1 comment:

Shalee said...

I often feel quite hungry visiting you... This is not good for my waistline!

And could it be # is from the phone?

"To leave a message press #."