Lamb Stew with Almonds and Apricots (Tagine)

Lamb Stew with Almonds and Apricots (Tagine)

An old favourite based on this recipe. I don’t marinade and  I use mostly the same spices but just chuck them in. As long it’s cooked long and slow the lack of marinading doesn’t seem to matter.

  • 3 lbs. lamb shoulder or neck, cut into cubes (you don’t need to trim all the fat off the meat – it gives it taste). You can also use venison.
  • a few slices of ginger
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • One big or two small cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne or 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, or some fresh chilli
  • about 6 whole cardamom pods
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander, roast and pounded up, maybe some cumin seeds too
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • about 6 whole cloves
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped in rings or half-rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 cups chicken stock or water or wine
  • 1 1/2 cups dried apricots
  • 1 1/2 cups almonds, whole and blanched
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Could do with weighing out ingredients next time we make it (I’ve adapted the ingredient list, but maybe not enough)

Fry the meat until brown then put it in an oven-proof dish. Fry the onions & garlic well – for flavour. Combine everything in the oven pot.

Orange apricots add colour, but the dark ones have more flavour. If using dark ones maybe don’t use quite so many, or omit the honey, otherwise it can be too sweet.

Cook in a low oven (160 C fan) for 1½-2 hours.

It’s a big recipe – 6-8 servings – but keeps well. Good with basmati rice.