Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins
The Centre de Formation en Restauration Traditionnelle, a government-sponsored cooking school in Rabat, is dedicated to preserving the art of traditional Moroccan gastronomy. The students, all young women, go on to staff Morocco's embassies and consulates around the world. This classic tagine recipe is part of the school's delectable curriculum. From: Cooking at the Kasbah by Kitty Morse
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 lbs leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 onions
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 8 threads spanish saffron, toasted and crushed (see Note for instructions)
- 15 fresh fresh cilantro stems, tied with cotton string
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon unhulled sesame seeds, toasted
- In a small Dutch oven or enameled casserole over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil and saute the turmeric, ginger, and lamb until the meat is well coated and lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Finely dice one of the onions. Add it to the meat along with the broth, saffron, and cilantro. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until the meat is fork tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Discard the cilantro.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to an ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve. Bring the sauce in the casserole back to a simmer.
- Finely slice the remaining onion. Add it, along with the prunes, honey, cinnamon, and pepper to the simmering sauce. Season with salt. Cook until the mixture thickens somewhat, 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon the prune sauce over the meat and sprinkle the dish with the sesame seeds. Serve with warm bread.
- Note: To toast and crush saffron, place threads in a small nonstick skillet and stir constantly over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Crush the threads between your fingers, or pound them in a mortar along with a pinch of salt before using.
I prebrowned the lamb the night before I made this dish because I needed to crockpot it since I was not going to have any time in the evening to make this dish. Kept it on low all day and when I got home, it was so nice to have one of the dishes I was making for a dinner party done and ready to go. Since it was in the crockpot, I upped the chicken broth to 2 cups and added 2 cups of water. Extra prunes and spices and it turned out wonderful. I would definitely make this again, maybe even the right way next time ;-)