For about 3 years i worked very closely with some Moroccan ladies and had the opportunity to share many of their traditional meals with them. Of all the meals i had, i loved tagines the best!
Tagines are a one-pot medley cooked with meats, fish or chicken, about 5,000 spices (Lol! really about 9 spices) and cooked slow for about 2 hours to delicious goodness and eaten with bread and/or couscous.
The tagine is a North African/Arabian dish, traditionally cooked in a unique tagine pot. The pot is a fairly shallow pot with a tall conical lid with a tiny hole at the top which traps in almost of the steam and allows condensation to return into the pot.
If you buy a new traditional tagine pot, you will have to submerge it in water for 24 hours prior to cooking with it.
If you do not have a tagine pot, you can also cook this in a dutch oven/past iron pot in the oven at 375F for 2 hours.
To get started, here's what you'll need;
4 Medium Sized Lamb Shanks
1 Tablespoons of Sumac, Smoked Paprika, Ground Turmeric, Cinnamon, Ras el Hanout, Alepo Pepper, Corriander, Ginger & Garlic
4 Medium Sized Potatoes
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds
1 Cup Chopped Peeled Tomato
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Beef Stock
2 Cinnamon Sticks
Season your lamb shanks and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
In a bowl, mix all of your spices.
Add enough olive oil to make a thick paste and set aside.
Add enough oil to form a thin film on the base of your pot and brown the lamb shanks on all side on medium-high heat. Take the shanks out and transfer them into a ziplock bag. Add flour and shake up until coated.
Add sliced onions and minced garlic and and stir cook until soft and fragrant.
Return the lamb shanks to the pot...
Pour spice paste over the shanks...
Add dates, tomatoes, beef stock and almonds...
Mix properly and taste for salt...
Wash and cut up your potatoes into halves or quarters, depending on the size and add to the pot.
Turn the heat down to medium, cover and allow to cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours. If your using a dutch oven, this would be when to transfer it into your pre-heated oven.
While it cooks on the stove top, check from time to time to make sure it isn't burning. Use a spatula to run around the inside of the pot to allow some liquid run to the bottom and turn down the heat if it is burning.
Take it off the heat carefully and enjoy with bread or couscous.
I had mine with couscous and a glass of delicious red wine.