Lamb Tagine with Carrots, Dried Apricots, Dates and Pistachios
I love lamb and I love lamb cooked in Moroccan style. Even though I have as yet not managed to visit Morocco, I go to Moroccan restaurants when I can. My favorite are tagine dishes that are slow cooked with dried fruit in them. In an attempt to make tagine dishes, I tried to buy tagines in specialty stores in my area but the ones made by Le Creuset are cast iron and also very expensive and most of the earthenware ones need a heat diffuser. So I decided to use a Dutch oven instead and found that they work just fine.
1. Two lbs of boneless lamb meat
2. 4-5 carrots.
3. 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin olive oil
4. One tablespoon of honey
5. Two medium sized onions
6. One inch fresh ginger root
7. Two teaspoons of turmeric powder
8. Two teaspoons of cinnamon powder
9. Two tablespoons of dried oregano
10. One teaspoon of dried thyme
11. Half a teaspoon of chili
12. Salt and pepper to taste
13. 15 pieces of dried apricots
14. 15 pieces of dried pitted dates
15. About ¼ cup shelled pistachios
1. Start heating the Dutch oven and put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in it.
2. While the pot is heating, peel and slice the onions in thin slivers.
3. Put the onions in the hot pot and start cooking them.
4. While the onions are cooking, cut the lamb into small 1-2 square inch cubes
5. When the onions are slightly caramelized (you see brown coloring), add the lamb to the pot and cook the lamb stirring it frequently so that all sides of the pieces are cooked.
6. Peel the carrots and chop them in about 1-2 inch pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add just enough water to the pot so that the lamb gets covered and bring to a boil.
8. Chop the ginger root into very small pieces and add to the pot.
9. Also chop the apricot into small pieces (each apricot into 2-3 pieces) and add to the pot.
10. Add salt, turmeric, cinnamon powder, oregano, thyme, pepper and chili flakes and stir the content of the pot and cover with a heavy lid.
11. Keep the heat at low and let the lamb cook for one hour and 30 minutes (or until the lamb is very soft).
12. When the lamb is soft, add the dates (each date cut in 2-3 pieces) and the pistachios.
13. Cook everything till the sauce in the pot looks thick.
14. Add the extra tablespoon of olive oil on top and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with couscous or pita bread on the side.