As you may already know from my previous post, I had a bit of a lamb surplus this week. Since we are counting carbs, making our family’s favorite — plov — is out of question, so I had to come up with something else. Being in the middle of clay pot cooking streak, I wanted to make a tagine of some sort. I didn’t have eggplant to make this, so my search led me onward, until I stumbled upon this recipe. Boy, does that look good!
I had to modify it a little. One of the reasons — I had some pickled lemons sitting around, and couldn’t just pass up the opportunity of using them. The original recipe is calling for fresh lemon zest, but pickled lemons offer so much more than that. They have this intense, deepened lemon fragrance, enhanced with spices and fermentation, which gave the whole dish a very elegant spin. For yet another spin, I served this gorgeous Tagine with lahooh — an African flat bread, more of a pancake, really, made with cornmeal, millet flour and wild sourdough. We rolled them up and dipped into the soupy fragrant sauce, and it was delicious!
I am posting the modified recipe version here for your consideration, but if you like the original enough to try it unchanged, I won’t blame you at all.
Lamb Tagine With Green Olives & Pickled Lemons
Adapted from Food & Wine’s recipe
- 2 lbs lamb muscle, such as shoulder or leg, cut into medium cubes
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp Sweet paprika
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 2 quarters of pickled lemon, zest separated from pulp and sliced, pulp chopped
- 1 onion, halved and sliced fairly thin
- 4 carrots, sliced pretty
- 2 cups water
- approximately 30 pieces large green pitted olives
- 1/2 cup or more fresh chopped herbs, such as parsley and cilantro
In a bowl, mix all spices, garlic and salt. Add olive oil, pulp of the pickled lemon, zest, and a cinnamon stick.
Add the lamb and turn to coat nicely in spice mix. Refrigerate, covered, for 4-6 hours.
Place onions, carrots, then meat into a tagine / clay pot / Dutch oven, add water.
Place the pot into the oven, turn it to 325F, and let the stew cook slowly for 2 hours, or even slightly longer, until meat is fork tender.
When meat is done, remove the pot from the oven, add olives, stir nicely, taste for salt and correct if necessary.
Add fresh herbs and serve in bowls with Moroccan couscous or flat bread.