1 t. cayenne
2 t. black pepper
1.5 T. paprika
1.5 T. ground ginger
1 T. turmeric
2 t. cinnamon
2 lb lamb stew cubes
2 large onions, grated (really! on a box grater, apparently) or minced
a few T. olive oil
a few T. argan oil (if you happen to have been to Morocco recently, or canola)
3 cloves garlic, crushed/minced/microplaned
2 c. tomato juice*
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (the large can)
4 oz/.67ish c. dried apricots, snipped in half (a large, sticky handful)**
2 oz/.33ish c. dried dates, snipped in half (a small, slightly-less-sticky handful)
2 oz/.33ish c. golden raisins (a small, minimally-sticky handful)
3 oz/.5ish c. almonds-- flaked, chopped or slivered (a large handful)
1 t. saffron stamens
2 c. lamb or beef stock
1 T. honey
1 small bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped (for garnish)
Stir together spice mix. Coat the lamb cubes in half of the mix (reserve the rest), and let marinate in the fridge for 6-12 hours.
Cook lamb cubes in olive/argan oil over med-high heat, transferring to your casserole dish(es) when nicely brown on the outsides. You will probably have to do this in batches. Deglaze pan with a splash of tomato juice and add this to the casserole.
|The oil turns yellow from the turmeric...yum.|
|Looks can be deceiving-- partially cooked lamb does not make good eating. (Yet.)|
|...15 minutes later!|
In a large saucepan***, saute onions and reserved spice mix over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Onions should turn translucent but not brown. BEWARE OF NOXIOUS ONION+CAYENNE+PEPPER+ TURMERIC GASES. Resist the urge to take a deep breath of the fumes. Add garlic and continue to cook over low heat and breathe sparingly.
|Gas mask suggested.|
|This was 3/4 of the stew-- smaller casserole dish, also full, not pictured.|
Serve over couscous (Bring 1.5 c. water to a boil, add .5 T. butter, remove from heat, add 1 c. couscous, cover pan, and leave undisturbed for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Feeds 3-4, scale up as needed.) with cilantro garnish. Enjoy!
*Did you know that it is humanly impossible to buy tomato juice in this quantity?? There's 3.5 cups of tomato juice in our freezer now.
**Use a scale if you have one; it's especially nice if you can re-zero it and then weigh all of these things together. But you don't have to be exact-- tagine will not be ruined by a few extra apricots.
***Ideally, you'd have a really nice enameled casserole dish (maybe in a color that matches your stand mixer) that can also go on the stovetop, and you would just do all of this in that (having set the lamb aside in a bowl, to add back in when you add everything else).
|We didn't have any cilantro, but we forced it down anyways.|
P.S. The dates will turn golden, look like olives, and taste like slow-cooked lamb....!!! Prepare yourself for this culinary alchemy.
P.P.S. Turmeric/saffron stain things yellow. Such as, countertops (so I hear) and tupperware containers (so I see).
|P.P.P.S. I swear I was not drinking when I |
took this picture but I thought it was level!