Lamb Tagine with Figs & Apricots
Click to Enlarge

Lamb Tagine with Figs & Apricots
Morocco
  -   Sikbadj
Serves:
Effort:
Time:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
2-1/2 hrs  
Yes
This Moroccan Tagine blends meat with dried fruit for a lightly sweet dish. Tagines are aromatic stews, often served with Couscous which has been steamed over the stew (see our recipe page Couscous), but are just as often served in other ways. They go fine with rice, bread, or even more conventional pasta. See Note-5 for variations.



1-1/2
------
8
3
2
2
1
1/4
1
1
2
2
------
6
4
2/3
1
1
2/3
------
#
---
oz
in
t
t
t
t
t
t
T
c
---
oz
oz
t
t
T
c
---
Lamb (1)
-- Sauce
Onions
Cinnamon
Pepper, black
Ginger, ground
Cumin seeds
Saffron threads
Paprika
Salt
Olive Oil, ExtV
Water
-- Fruit Mix
Figs, dried
Apricots, dried
Cinnamon
Sugar (2)
Orange Water (3)  
Water
-- Garnish (opt)
Walnut Meats

Make   -   (2-1/2 hrs   -   35 min work (exclusive of separating meat from bones and fat - do ahead))
  1. Cut LAMB into chunks about 1-1/2 inches on a side for buffet, perhaps a little larger for table service.
  2. Chop ONION small.
  3. Start soaking SAFFRON in a little warm water. You can add it to the pot 15 minutes later. Until extracted by water, the flavor can be locked up by the oil.
  4. Grind Cumin and Pepper.
  5. Place Lamb in a coverable pot or spacious sauté pan. Mix in all Sauce items and enough Water to not quite cover. Bring to a boil and simmer, tightly covered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until very tender. Stirring frequently and adding more water if needed.
  6. Meanwhile   Steam FIGS and APRICOTS about 15 minutes until soft and moist.
  7. Place Figs and Apricots in a sauce pan with all Fruit mix items. Simmer covered for about 30 minutes, checking liquid. If it gets too dry add some broth from the simmering lamb, but at the end of 30 minutes it should finish with little liquid.
  8. When Lamb has simmered until very tender (1-1/2 to 2 hours), remove the lid and continue to simmer until the liquid is at a moderately thin sauce consistency (it thickens as it cools).
  9. Reheat Fig mix as needed.
  10. Arrange Lamb in the center of a platter and pour the sauce over. Arrange Fruit mix around (or see Note-4). If you want it Mountain Berber style, scatter some Walnut Meats over.
  11. Serve hot with Couscous, bread or Rice.
NOTES:
  1. Lamb:   Weight is for boneless lamb with all excess fat removed. Mutton or Goat can also be used, but will need a little more time cooking. The problem with all these is the ratio of fat and bone to meat. Yields run from 45% to 52%, usually closer to 45%. Do use the bones and fat to make stock. Modern practice includes the fat, because it has been found much of the flavor in fat is water soluble, and the fat is easily removed afterwards using a gravy separator. For a richer sauce, you could use stock instead of water in this recipe.
  2. Sugar:   I have reduced the sugar to to less than half that called for by the pattern recipe. Moroccan cuisine tends to be a bit overly sweet for European and North American tastes. If you want "authentic" at all cost, go ahead and use more.
  3. Orange Water:   This is made from the flowers of the bergamot orange tree, about 7 pounds of flowers per gallon of water. It is easily available in any market serving a North African, Levantine or Middle Eastern community.
  4. Service:   For formal service, use whole fruit and the arrangement shown above. If using Russian Service (restaurant style) or especially Buffet Service, you can cut the figs in half and mix everything together. If anyone questions this, just explain that the servants had the day off.
  5. Variations   Moroccan apricots are the darker, unsulphured type, so feel free to use those if you wish. This sort of tagine is also made with just Apricots, Apricots and Honey, Apricots and Dates, Figs and Prunes, and other combinations of dried fruit. Some recipes sweeten with Orange Juice rather than sugar.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
mmm_lmbfig1* 160325 nak30 & var   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@aaxnet.com - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.