Preparing Moroccan Lamb Tagine With Dates
It is the perfect fragrant rich comfort food meal for those looking for something a little different to do for a winter meal.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Dates & Almonds
- 2 pounds 3 ounces tender lamb, or beef, cut into 2- or 3-inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, grated
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon ras el hanout, optional
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, or butter
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 small handful cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
- 1 1/2 cups medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons sugar, or honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional
- Handful fried almonds, optional
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large pot or pressure cooker, mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, and oils. Brown the meat for a few minutes over medium heat.
Add 2 1/2 cups of water and the cilantro. Over high heat, bring the meat and liquids to a rapid simmer.
Pressure Cooker Method
- If using a pressure cooker, cover tightly and continue heating until pressure is achieved.
- Reduce the heat to medium, and cook with pressure for 45 to 50 minutes. (About halfway through cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)
- After the meat has cooked, release the pressure and reduce the sauce, uncovered, until it is mostly oils and onion.
- If using a pot, cover and simmer the meat over medium heat for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the meat is very tender and breaks away easily from the bone. (About halfway through cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)
- If necessary, add a small amount of water during cooking to prevent the meat from scorching.
- When the meat has cooked, reduce the sauce until it is mostly oil and onions.
Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method
- Slice 1 of the onions into rings instead of grating it, and layer the onion rings on the bottom of the tagine.
- Mix the meat with the grated onion, garlic, oils, and spices, and arrange the mixture on top of the onion rings.
- Add 2 1/2 cups water, cover, and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat. Allow the tagine to reach a simmer (this may take a long time), and then reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer.
- Allow the tagine to cook for 3 hours or longer until the meat is very tender and the liquids are reduced. (About 2 hours into the cooking, remove and reserve 1/2 cup of the liquids.)
Simmer the Dates
While the meat is cooking, remove the pits from the dates. Put the pitted dates in a small pot with the liquids reserved from the meat.
Stir in the sugar and cinnamon, and simmer the dates gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.
Put the meat and sauce on a large serving platter, and spoon the dates and syrup on top. (If you cooked the dish in a tagine, the vessel will double as a serving dish; simply add the dates and syrup to the tagine at serving time.)
If desired, garnish with sesame seeds and/or fried almonds.
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