Moroccan Lamb Tagine

Dried fruit combines with meat and spices here in a fragrant tender stew, which is best accompanied by saffron-flavoured rice, or couscous, to soak up the juices. Boned shoulder, or fillet, is suitable for this dish.


  • 750 g ( lb) lamb, off the bone
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • 200 mls (7 oz) lamb or veal stock
  • 4 carrots or small turnips, peeled and sliced, but not too small (about 1-2.5 cm (½-1 inch) chunks)
  • 150 g (5 oz) dried apricots, soaked in warm water for ½ hour
  • ½ preserved lemon, or juice and pared zest of ½ lemon
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • chopped fresh coriander leaves


Trim any excess fat from the lamb, and cut the meat into 5 cm (2 inch cubes. Brown them in the olive oil, and put to one side. Lightly brown the onion, and then add the garlic and spices. Cook these dry for 2 to 3 minutes, and then gradually add the stock, scraping up the residues.

Put the meat in a casserole, pour the spiced stock and onion over it, and add the carrots, apricots and lemon to the pot. Season to taste.

Cover and cook at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 1 to 1 ½ hours. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes and, just before serving, grind on some nutmeg and scatter with the chopped coriander leaves.