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 Lamb Tagine with Couscous

Updated February 23, 2016
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Dried apricots and orange juice, along with cumin, coriander, ginger, and thyme, give this the distinct flavor and aroma of Moroccan cuisine.

Freezing Information: Can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw over low heat, then bring to a boil before serving.

Prepare ahead: The tagine can be cooked up to 2 days in advance.

Tagine:

This north-African earthenware cooking pot, traditionally used as a portable oven, is perfect for cooking stews like this. The conical lid acts as a heat retainer and the top is a cool handle. Alternatively, use a casserole with a tight-fitting lid.

Makes4 servings

Preparation Time10 min

Preparation Time - Text10 mins, plus at least 3 hrs marinating

Cooking Time1 min

CostModerate

Moderate

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturejuicy, meaty, spiced

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 lb (900g) boneless lamb, such as shoulder, cut into 1in (2.5cm) cubes
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 oz (120g) dried apricots
  • Mint leaves, to garnish
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp quick-cooking couscous
  • Salt
  • Large flameproof casserole

Instructions

Put the onion, cumin, coriander, ginger, thyme, and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, non-metallic bowl. Add the lamb and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Put the flour in a small bowl and slowly whisk in the orange juice until smooth, then set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a high heat. Add the spiced lamb and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until browned.

Stir the orange juice mixture into the casserole with the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Cover and bake for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Stir in the apricots. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes more, or until the lamb is tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous. Mix the couscous with salt to taste in a large heatproof bowl and add boiling water to cover by 1in (2.5cm). Cover with a folded kitchen towel and let stand for 10 minutes, or until the couscous is tender. Fluff with a fork and keep warm. When the lamb is tender, taste and adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with mint leaves and serve with the hot couscous.

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