Lamb tagine

I rarely eat lamb and I have never cooked it, but I saw this recipe in Bon Appetit and decided to give it a whirl last week. Of course, I chose the hottest day in September to cook it. Image: Me, sweating over a dutch oven, tears in my eyes from just cutting up the onions, dogs at my feet begging for meat. You, laughing and shaking your head as you grab an ice-cold beer and head out to soak up the sun outside.

Well, the stew was a tasty success and the dogs got none of it. I am freezing a batch to re-heat on a cold winter's night, which I will eat in the comfort of my toasty abode while you sit out in the cold. Hmph!

Lamb stewing

Chicken broth added

Over-exposed photo due to the 90 degree sun shining directly on it from the kitchen window

Here's the recipe, I made a few alterations since I didn't have all the ingredients or a spice mill. Original can be found here.

3/4 cup dried chickpeas
5 garlic cloves (2 whole, 3 chopped)
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds 1" cubes lamb shoulder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
5 teaspoons Ras-el-Hanout spice blend (see below for recipe)
1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices
2 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken stock
1/2 cup halved dried apricots
Chopped fresh parsley

Place chickpeas in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2". Let soak overnight. Drain chickpeas; return to same saucepan. Add 2 whole garlic cloves and cinnamon stick. Add water to cover by 2". Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a medium bowl. Add onion to pot; reduce heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic, Ras-el-Hanout, and ginger. Stir for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and lamb with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Add 2 1/2 cups stock. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Stir in chickpeas; simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in apricots; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle parsley over.

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

Combine all ingredients. Much easier than toasting and grinding as in the original recipe. Triple/quadruple/centuple the recipe and use to season other meats or vegetables.

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