Prep 1 hr 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs 45 mins
A little taste of Morocco.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 lbs boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon saffron thread, crushed in you fingers
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons grated gingerroot
- 1 small yellow onion, minced
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups water
- 5 sprigs coriander (plus extra leaves for garnish)
- 1 medium sweet onion, peeled, cut in half, and sliced 3/8 inch thick (Vidalia onion)
- 1⁄2 cup blanched roasted almonds
- 1 (2 lb) butternut squash
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 16 dried apricots, soaked in warm water until soft, and cut in half
- Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat; add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
- When oil begins to smoke, add half the lamb; lightly brown on all sides, regulating the heat if the meat threatens to burn.
- Set meat aside in a bowl; repeat with remaining lamb.
- Take the pot from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Return it to med-low heat; add in 4 tablespoons butter; let it melt.
- Add in the saffron, cinnamon, black pepper, turmeric, cayenne, ginger, and minced yellow onion, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.
- Let the mixture cook gently for 4 minutes.
- Add in the cooked lamb and any accumulated juices, with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt; stirring to coat the lamb with the spice mixture.
- Stir in the water; increase heat to high and bring just to a simmer.
- With kitchen string, tie together 5 coriander springs and add to the pot.
- Let mixture cook, uncovered, at a bare simmer( the bubbles should be lazy) for 1 hour 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the sliced sweet onion and the almonds; simmer for 30 minutes.
- Taste the tagine; add salt if needed.
- Remove the coriander bundle and discard.
- Turn off the heat and allow the tagine to rest at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature.
- While tagine is resting: Prepare the squash--you only need the seedless neck from the squash; peel and halve the neck lengthwise; then cut it into 3/8-inch thick half moons.
- Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and add in the remaining vegetable oil.
- When the oil slides easily in the skillet, sauté the squash pieces on both sides, lightly salting each side as you go for about 5 minutes per side or until just tender and golden brown at the edges.
- Regulate the heat if the squash threatens to burn.
- Near the end of cooking, and while the squash pieces are still a bit firm, add the remaining butter and drizzle the honey over the squash.
- Swirl the pan to blend the ingredients, and gently toss the squash to coat.
- Turn off the heat and reserve in the skillet.
- When ready to serve, gently reheat the lamb, and stir in about 2/3s of the squash pieces.
- Combine the apricots with the remaining squash in the skillet, cover and reheat gently, swirling to coat the pieces.
- Divide the lamb mixture into 4 wide, shallow bowls.
- Drizzle with some of the juices.
- Distribute the apricots and remaining squash over the lamb.
- Drizzle any liquid remaining in the skillet over each serving.
- Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.