An easy lamb tagine with all the aromatic flavours of North Africa – and no hassle.
I love the sort of meals that cook themselves – slow cooked stews and curries that will bubble away with very little attention from you. This is one case where effort is not proportional to results. If you have a large pan with a well fitting lid you can create some amazing flavours.
Today’s flavours are Moroccan. It’s a classic combination – spices, tender lamb, juicy dried fruit and chickpeas. If you don’t like apricots try other dried fruit – and if you don’t like squash, or haven’t got it, try other root veg. This easy lamb tagine is very forgiving – the first time I made it I used 1 small squash and a few carrots. The second time I used nearly 2 squash – nearly as they were very large and I didn’t want to overwhelm the lamb.
The cooking times are very flexible too. The first time I tried this I simmered it for two hours – it was a lovely melty bowl of squashy goodness. This time, after just one hour as we were in a hurry, the lamb was still melt-in-the-mouth tender and aromatic.
You can use a tagine for this – but you don’t have to. You could even try turning it into a casserole or a slow cooker dish. Serve with bread or couscous.
30 minPrep Time
2 hrCook Time
2 hr, 30 Total Time
- 2 cans of chickpeas
- 70g of chopped dried apricots
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 butternut squash (size dependent)
- 600g diced lamb
- The juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 heaped tsp cumin
- 2 heaped tsp coriander
- 1 scant tsp cloves
- 1 scant tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Halve the squashes. Scoop out the seeds, slice off the peel and cut into small chunks.
- Juice and zest the lemon.
- Chop the apricots if necessary - I used ready chopped to make sure they were a good size for my toddler.
- Add all the ingredients to a large pan with a well fitting lid and mix well.
- Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 1 - 2 hours. The longer it simmers, the thicker the sauce and the softer the squash.