For the lamb
3 pounds lamb shoulder cut into 2 inch cubes
6 medium carrots-peeled and cut into large dice
2 large Spanish onions-peeled and diced2 fennel bulbs diced, reserve fronds for garnish
8 large cloves garlic-chopped
½ cup halved pitted dates
½ cup halved dried figs½ cup halved dried apricots
2 heaping tablespoons tomato paste
Moroccan spice mix doubled (see below)
2 tablespoons Charnushka*
3-4 cups chicken stock
Suggested garnishes: preserved lemons, sliced into julienne chopped cilantro and harissa Pre heat oven to 325
1) Place the lamb chunks on a sheet pan or cutting board. Pat dry the meat to ensure browning. Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Brown the lamb in batches in a large sauté pan coated with olive oil over medium. Transfer the browned lamb to a tagine or Dutch oven. Brown the vegetables in batches in the same pan. Be sure to scrape up any browned bits left behind from the lamb. Transfer the vegetables to a tagine. Lightly sauté the garlic until it is fragrant (about 1 minute). Be sure not to brown the garlic.
2) Add the remaining ingredients to the tagine. Cover and cook for 3 hours until the lamb is tender and the sauce has thickened.
Garnish with preserved lemons and chopped cilantro, and pass harissa. Lamb tagine can be made and stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before serving or frozen for up to 1 month.
*Charnushka is also called black caraway, nigella and kalonji. It is sometimes found on the crust of dark rye bread. It has a slightly smoky, pungent flavor. It is NOT the same as black cumin. Charnushka is commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisines as well as Indian spice mixes such as Garam Masala.l It available on line at The Spice House and at many gourmet food stores
Moroccan Spice Mix
2 2 inch cinnamon sticks
1 T. whole coriander seeds
1 t. cumin seeds
1t. crushed red chilies
½ t. fenugreek
½ t. anise seeds
1 cardamom pod
1 T. dark brown sugar (optional)
1) Place all the ingredients in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and process until completely ground. Store covered at room temperature for up to 6 weeks.
½ cup of dried chili flakes
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic-peeled
¼ t. ground cumin
1 T. lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1) Place a small sauce pan over high heat and bring about 1 cup of water to a boil. 2. Remove from heat and add the chili flakes to the water to re-hydrate them. Let the chili flakes steep for 5 minutes. 3. Drain the flakes into a mesh colander. 4. Place the chili flakes and the rest of the ingredients into a blender. Process the harissa until the mixture resembles a smooth paste. Salt and pepper as needed.