For a good lamb tagine ask the butcher to cut some lower rib of lamb into small pieces. This is a typical Moroccan cut for lamb tagine as it allows the lamb to cook relatively easily on a medium heat. There is plenty of meat on the lower rib to satisfy everyone. Of course we all associate tagine with the unique chimney shaped pot seen in every good Moroccan shop but if you don’t have one they can be made equally well in a good casserole pot. Serve with either couscous, bulgur wheat salad, rice or tagine bread. Drizzling yoghurt over the tagine before serving is a great way to cut through the grease and give the dish an added zing. If you like fresh coriander sprinkle some fresh, chopped coriander leaves over the tagine before serving.
Lower rib of lamb – 200 gr. per adult portion
200 gr. dried figs
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ginger
½ lt. water
½ lt. stock (chicken, veal or beef)
Fry the onion in some olive oil on a medium heat. When they have browned add the spices turning the heat down so that they don’t burn. Next, add the lamb pieces and brown on all sides making sure that the lamb is evenly covered in the spices. If you like your figs whole add them to the stew whole. If you prefer them to melt into the stew in order to form part of the pleasing gravy cut them into small pieces before adding to the pot. Finally add the water and the stock – the liquid should just cover, but not drown, the meat. Put in a pre-heated oven and cook on a low heat of 150 degrees centigrade for anywhere from 2-4 hours. When ready season with salt & pepper. Leave it to rest for ten minutes. Before serving drizzle a generous amount of yoghurt over the stew and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves.