One of my favorite wedding gifts was from one of my closest friends Christine. A Moroccan tagine. When I first opened the box and saw it, I was fascinated by this shallow pot and cone shaped cover. I thought, how do I cook anything in here? 3 years later, it’s become one of my prized kitchen accessories. (This particular time, I ended up using the casserole dish because of the amount I was making, otherwise, the tagine is perfect for 2-3 servings)
This Lamb Tagine is a favorite in my household. Juicy, tender meat falling off the bone with each bite. Fresh figs and Asian Pears to add just the right hint of sweetness to the dish. A chermoula spicy enough to wake up your palate. How can you go wrong? It takes a while to make, but worth every second of the wait.
First, you want to make the chermoula to marinate the lamb in. Chermoula is a marinade usually made from herbs, oil, and spices. This one is made from Parsley, EVOO, garlic, lemon juice, spices and jalapeño to add a little kick. Try to give your lamb at least 6 hours to marinate, overnight if you can. The lemon juice in the chermoula is important as it will help break down the proteins in the lamb and make it more tender.
Doesn’t that vibrant and green chermoula look gorgeous?!
About 10 minutes before you are ready to cook the lamb, chop the figs and onions. These are going to help make the basis of your “stew”.
The lamb will go on top and the whole dish will go in the oven for 1.5 hours. At the end of the two hours, browned pears will top the lamb and in it goes into the oven for another 30 minutes.
The result…. delicious, tender, juicy lamb with figs and prunes melting in your mouth. It’s a pretty easy recipe that looks like you deserve a Michelin star for!
Hope you enjoy it!
3 shoulder of lamb on the bone
2 Tbsp ghee
1 red onion, chopped into wedges
1 c pitted prunes
1.2 c fresh figs, halved (can replace with dried figs if fresh not available)
3 Tbsp butter
1 large Asian pear, chopped into wedges
For the Chermoula:
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small bunch of parsley
fresh squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp cumin
4 Tbsp EVOO
1 tsp salt
Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend to make a coarse paste. Make small incisions in the lamb and rub the chermoula into the meat. Cover and leave in fridge overnight, or at least a minimum of 6 hours for the proteins in the meat to break down.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Over medium flame, heat ghee in the tagine or stoneware casserole dish. Add the lamb and brown for about 3 minutes on each side. Set lamb aside on a separate plate and in the same ghee, add the leftover chermoula, onions, prunes, and figs. Sauté for about 3 minutes, then add 1 cup of water. Add the browned lamb back into the tagine/casserole dish and cover. Bake for 1.5 hours.
About 5 minutes pulling the lamb out of the oven, melt butter in a pan and add the Asian pears. Sauté till golden brown. Return lamb to oven for another 30 minutes.