Lamb and Summer Vegetable Tagine
Sweet & Savory Tagine with Lamb and Summer Vegetables
What is tagine? I’m so glad you asked! Tagine is both a clay pot used for cooking and a traditional Moroccan dish that was originally cooked in the pot with its namesake. The dish is an incredible stew, typically made with fragrant spices like cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and more. Unlike most other stews, tagine is somewhat sweet. More often than not, the sweetness can be attributed to the addition of dried fruits—usually apricots. Because it is slow cooked, the meats and vegetables are tender and rich and the flavors all fuse together into a deep, hearty pot of comfort!
If you haven’t tried tagine before, it is sure to become one of your new favorite comfort foods! You will want to make time and time again and, when you do, ensure you make extra, because it’s one of those dishes that is even better when reheated!
Nowadays, there are a plethora of tagine variations. Quite often, you'll find vegetarian versions made with chickpeas. Also, since most people don't actually have Tagine baking dishes, most of the recipes you find online utilize a casserole dish or a dutch oven. I used a dutch oven because I wanted to sear my meat on the stovetop prior to putting it in the oven. Feel free to alter the recipe to include ingredients you have on hand and/or the cooking tools you have available to you.
Summer Vegetable Tagine with Lamb Steak and Ceylon Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon fresh-ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 pounds lamb (I used steaks, but feel free to use roast, chops, or even neck)
- Dash of salt and pepper
- 1 sweet onion, roughly chopped
- 2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ⅔ cup dried apricots, chopped into ¼” pieces
- 1 tablespoon fresh, grated ginger
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 Parsnip, sliced into ¼” pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into ½” pieces
- 3 Carrots, sliced into ¼” pieces
- 6 oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 small new potatoes, quartered
- 1 yellow squash, sliced into ¼” pieces
- 1 zucchini, sliced into ¼” pieces
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- ¾ cup fresh peas
- ½ cup chopped, fresh parsley
- Mix together the first 5 ground spices and set aside.
- Pour the olive oil into a dutch oven and turn the heat to medium.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper over the lamb and add them to the oil, cooking each side for about 3 minutes, or until just browned but not cooked through. Remove the lamb and set aside
- Add your onions and cinnamon sticks to the pot and sauté until the onions have turned translucent.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Pour in about ½ cup beef broth to loosen the fond (those flavorful bits and pieces stuck to the pan) and gently stir. Add the apricot, ginger, celery, parsnip, carrot, bell pepper, tomatoes, remaining beef broth, and wine. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer and place the lid on. Cook for 20 minutes. This is also a good time to start preheating the oven to 350℉.
- Remove the lid and stir in the spices, then the remaining vegetables (potatoes, squash, asparagus, zucchini, and peas).
- Add the lamb back to the pot, slightly pressing it into the sauce, so it is just covered. Place in the oven and cook for 1½ hours.
- Remove from the oven and stir in the parsley.
- At this point, you can either leave the lamb in the pot and serve the it whole, or you can pull it from the bone and cut/pull it apart into smaller pieces so it’s easier for your guests to eat with a spoon.
Serve hot, over or alongside couscous, basmati rice, quinoa, or any grain your heart desires. Or, simply serve in stew bowls with nothing more than a spoon!You can find the Ceylon Cinnamon Quills I used for this recipe here!