In preparation for my Moroccan Dinner coming up in two weeks, I ordered a beautiful, hand molded, unglazed cooking tagine. I looked at many many options! There are gorgeous serving tagines with intricate patterns and glazes, and perfectly molded wheel-thrown tagines, but for me, there was something really appealing about this slightly awkward, not quite symmetrical, unglazed cooking tagine. I love it.
The second I arrived, I went on a mission to properly season it and prepare it for use. I will share how to season a tagine below, just in case you are starting off with a new dish!
A tagine is a beautifully constructed instrument. Your meat roasts slowly in the bottom of the vessel and melds with the fruits and vegetables that you place in there with it. As the ingredients release steam, the steam climbs up the dish, condenses and comes back down to rehydrate your dish, this way nothing dries out during the 2-3 hour cooking periods. I still had some lamb left over after my Lamb and Duck Couscous last weekend, and it was coming close to its expiration date, so its time had come! I love the pairing of lamb and apricot, especially if there are a lot of onions in the mix! I added some turmeric, ginger, and cumin seed with a bit of spice to create this dish. Apricots and almonds are added after the lamb has had two hours to melt to a delicious texture! This dish does take some time, but is really low on effort, you just need to slow cook the lamb.
Seasoning a Tagine
1 unglazed tagine
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
- Soak your tagine in a sink full of water for at least two hours.
Dry the tagine.
- Coat the interior and exterior with olive oil generously.
Rub the clove of garlic all over the interior of the bowl of the dish.
- Place in a cold oven and heat to 300. Bake for 2 hours. Never set a cold tagine in a hot oven or a hot tagine on a cold counter, a shock in temperature could cause the dish to crack.
- Allow the tagine to cool slowly in the oven.
Once cooled, oil one more time and it is ready to use.
Re-season every 6 months or so if you do not use it regularly.
Lamb, Onion, and Apricot Tagine with Tomatoes and Almonds
2 pounds boneless lamb, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
2 large red onions, sliced into 12 wedges each
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin seed
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4-1/3 tsp. cayenne pepper, depending on how spicy you like it
1 tsp. turmeric
salt and pepper
2 medium tomatoes, cored and sliced into wedges
about 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2/3 cup chopped apricots, soaked for 10 minutes in boiling water, drained
1/3 cup almonds
- Set your tagine on the the stove top burner that has the lowest, most even cook setting. A tagine should never be heated to anything above 350 degrees in the oven or above medium-low on the stove top. You can buy a heat diffuser to use on the stove top, but I haven’t gotten one and haven’t yet had a crisis, fingers crossed! I have a very nice even stove top though, so if yours is finicky, I would order one for $5 off of Amazon.
- Mix together the lamb, 2 tbsp. olive oil, red onion, garlic, cumin, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, and tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Mix all of the ingredients to cover the meat and veggies in the seasoning.
- Add one cup of water and turn heat to medium-low. Bring to a simmer slowly.
Cover with the lid and cook for 2 hours, stirring and turning the meat every 10-15 minutes.
- Uncover, add parsley and drained apricots. Cook for 20 minutes longer.
- Meanwhile, fry the almonds in the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil for about five minutes until a bit browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
- Serve in the tagine with almonds on top. Make sure you place the tagine on a wooden plank or a folded up towel to prevent cold shock.
We served with some jasmine rice.
Total cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes, serves 3-4.
We are over 100% funded and that means that the campaign is successful and I will get to publish my first cookbook! This is so exciting! To all of my amazing supporters, thank you!
What else is there to be done? Let’s get more books in the hands of more people!
To celebrate our funding goal, I have made two new rewards if you want to secure a first edition copy of Chez Nous: Communal Dinners without all the other goodies, you can pre-order it at its retail value with the “JUST SEND ME THE BOOK” reward! You can also secure a copy of Chez Nous: High Tea with the “JUST SEND ME THE HIGH TEA GUIDE”!
Thank you all again, and I can’t wait to get these books into your kitchens!
Only 2 days left to preorder your book and have your name mentioned as a sponsor in my first edition!