Pressure Cooker Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes

The cooking time listed below is for the pressure cooker method. Double or triple this time if using a conventional pot or tagine. Note that the onion preparation is different for the tagine method.


  • 2 pounds tender lamb, or beef, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 2 medium onions, grated or very finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 to 2 (3- to 4-inch) pieces cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • Handful cilantro sprigs, tied together
  • 1/2 pound prunes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional
  • Handful almonds, fried, optional


Cook the Meat

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pressure Cooker Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes ingredients
  2. In a bowl, mix the meat with the onions, garlic, and spices.

    meat with onions, garlic, and spices in a bowl
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat and brown the meat for a few minutes until a crust forms.

    meat with onions, garlic, and spices cooking in a pot
  4. Place the meat mixture in the pressure cooker and add 2 1/2 cups of water and the cilantro. Over high heat, bring the meat and liquids to a simmer.

    meat mixture with cilantro and water in a pressure cooker
  5. Cover tightly and continue heating until pressure is achieved. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook with pressure for 45 to 50 minutes.

    lamb cooking in the pressure cooker with herbs and spices
  6. About halfway through cooking, remove 1/2 cup of the liquid and reserve.

    meat cooking liquid in a bowl
  7. After the meat has cooked, release the pressure and reduce the sauce, uncovered, until it is mostly oil and onion.

    lamb and spices in a pressure cooker

Cook the Prunes

  1. While the meat is cooking, put the prunes in a small pot and cover with water. Simmer over medium heat, partially covered, until the prunes are tender enough to easily pinch off the pit or pinch in half. (The amount of time this takes can vary greatly depending on the prunes, but the average is 15 to 30 minutes.)

    prunes with water in a pot
  2. Drain the prunes, then add the 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid from the meat.

    prunes with lamb cooking liquid in a pot
  3. Stir in the honey, sugar, and ground cinnamon, and simmer the prunes for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are sitting in a thick syrup.

    honey, sugar, and ground cinnamon with prunes in a pot

To Serve

  1. Arrange the meat on a large serving platter and spoon the prunes and syrup on top.

    Pressure Cooker Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes on a plate
  2. If desired, garnish with sesame seeds and/or fried almonds. Moroccan tradition is to gather around the table and eat from this communal plate, using Moroccan bread to scoop up the meat and sauce.

    Pressure Cooker Moroccan Lamb or Beef Tagine With Prunes on a plate with garnish

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