Meet me in Morocco

As we prepare to embark on our vegetarian holiday to Guatemala we figured we better get in a few more bites of succulent meat! 

Morocco has always been on my radar as it lures me in with its spices and exotic flavors.  Today we shall create a lamb tagine with chickpeas and apricots served in a traditional tagine vessel, purchased at the NYC Chelsea markets last Christmas.  First time breaking it out but I am sure will not be the last.

Braising meat the Moroccan way transforms meat into a thick, aromatic stew that melts in your mouth and warms your heart.  Served alongside a garlic, lemon couscous this dish with transport you to North Africa!  Enjoy the journey.....

How to make ras el hanout

  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds.
  2. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds.
  3. 1/2 teaspoon crushed chilli flakes.
  4. 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
  5. 1 teaspoon paprika.
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric.

Succulent LAMB

Sep. 29, 2018

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup dried chickpeas
5 garlic cloves (2 whole, 3 chopped)
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds 1" cubes lamb shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
5 teaspoons Ras-el-Hanout spice blend
1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices
2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken stock
1/2 cup halved dried apricots
Steamed couscous
Chopped fresh cilantro

THE TAJINE

A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. It is also called a Maraq/marqa in North Africa.

Recipe courtesy of epicurious

PREPARATION

  1. Place chickpeas in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2". Let soak overnight.  We used canned garbanzo beans and they were just as good.

  2. Drain chickpeas; return to same saucepan. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and cinnamon stick. Add water to cover by 2". Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain; set aside.  We skipped this step.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a medium bowl. Add onion to pot; reduce heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic, Ras-el-Hanout , and ginger. Stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lamb with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Add 2 1/2 cups stock. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

  4. Stir in chickpeas; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in apricots; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

With crazy hungry love,

Beth & Allan