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Lamb Tagine and Baked Carrots

More Moroccan-inspired recipes for Sunday's dinner...

Lamb Tagine with Honey, Raisins & Dates

This is a variation on a "mrouzia", which is a particularly sweet dish supposedly made for feasting during Ramadan, or Id al-Adha, or Aid el Kebir, and it's said that the honey helps preserve the leftovers without refrigeration. Most versions use almonds, but not mine.

3 lbs. boneless lamb, cubed (from about 4 lbs. lamb shoulder chops)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed & finely chopped
1/4 cup butter (= 1/2 stick), cut into pieces
2 teaspoons ras-el-hanout (see note #1)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon saffron
between 1 to 4 cups water or chicken stock (see note #2)
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup honey

Mix together the spices and rub mixture into the lamb. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix spiced lamb with onions and garlic and water or stock, and add butter. Put in the oven and cook for 1-1/2 hours.  Mix raisins, dates, and honey, and add to the lamb, then cook for 1/2 hour longer, till lamb is very tender. Serve with couscous or pilaf; makes 6-8 servings.

Note #1: If you don't have ras-el-hanout (the Moroccan equivalent of curry powder), instead add 1/4 teaspoon each of turmeric, cardamom, coriander, cayenne, nutmeg, and cloves, and another 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Note #2: If you are using a real tagine (which is fairly shallow and keeps in juices very well), you should only use 1 cup of water/stock.  For a regular casserole or pot, use 3 cups to start, and check to see if you need to add more duing the cooking time.

Note #3, alternatives: You can cook this in the oven or on top of the stove.  You can marinated the lamb in the spice mixture for an hour, or overnight, or for no extra time at all.  Instead of adding it with the cooking liquid, you can melt the butter in a pan and saute the lamb till lightly browned, and saute the onions and garlic till softened, but it's not necessary. The meat will still brown in the cooking.  Instead of raisins and dates, you can use blanched and lightly toasted slivered almonds, or apricots, or prunes.

Baked Carrots with Oranges

This was based on the Moroccan cold dish of segmented oranges and shredded carrot.  Sometimes the mrouzia can have carrots in it, itself.

1 lb. carrots, scraped, cut in 2" lengths and quartered
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained, or else 2 regular oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Put carrots and oranges in a shallow baking dish.  Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour on top.  Bake for 1 hour or till carrots are tender. 




( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 29th, 2008 08:01 pm (UTC)
I think I am gonna make one of these for my sweetie some time soon.
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
I hope you and your sweetie enjoy it. :-)
Sep. 30th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Okay, I am hungry now. I must save these recipes for future reference. Thanks everso! My partner and I cook a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Sep. 30th, 2008 03:58 pm (UTC)
Re: *drool*
You're very welcome! I'm still learning, but I love those cuisines, too.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )