Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lamb Tagine (slow cooker)

food porn...
Today was my very first experience with tagine...oh baby, what a great dish. I need to tweak this a bit more - want to up the heat and the sweet - but it really is amazing, and a perfect dish for the slow cooker (Or it would have been perfect...if Sarah shared her lemons with me !! ;) )

Tagines are a Moroccan dish - a slow-cooked stew braised at low temperatures, resulting in tender meat with aromatic vegetables and sauce (often served with or including preserved lemons...see link above). They are usually cooked in a special dish, also called a tagine...which I don't currently own, but I will...oh yes, I will.

here's the one I want - blue, of course !
Since I'm fresh out of tagine dishes...and since it's a slow-cooked stew...well, why not do it in the slow cooker ? You know how I love my slow-cooker...and really, it basically does the same thing : a glazed stoneware casserole dish, with a lid that keeps in the moisture. Definitely did the trick !

As I said, I do want to tweak it some...but here's what we have so far :

Slow-Cooker Lamb Tagine
adapted from Women's Day

1 tsp cumin
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp coriander
4 - 6 lbs boneless lamb, cut about double the size you would for stew (I used a 6 1/2 pound bone-in leg)
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 leek, white and tender green only, sliced
2 carrots, chopped
1 pear, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped dates, raisins, or currants
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (for garnish)

prepared couscous, for serving

Combine cumin, cinnamon, ginger and coriander. Toast the spice mixture in a skillet for a few minutes, until you can really smell it.

Sprinkle the meat with salt and pepper, and brown in the skillet in all sides in a little olive oil. Layer the lamb, vegetables, fruits and spice mixture - along with more salt and pepper - in the slow cooker. Deglaze the pan you used for the lamb with the chicken stock, and pour that into the slow cooker as well.

Cook the lamb on LOW for 8 - 10 hours, or on HIGH for 4 - 5 hours. Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top before serving, and serve with the couscous.

yum !


  1. This looks amazing! I don't know what you'd do to tweak it because it looks perfect as is...If my lemons were ready, I'd share them...can you make it again in 3 weeks? A friend gave me a beautiful tagine this weekend from Williams Sonoma - Can't wait to use it...Your house must smell incredible. Brava!!!

  2. Awesome! You are so smart, I didn't think of using my beloved crockpot and was saving special recipes for when my desired tagine mysteriously arrives for my birthday later this year.
    What size pot did you use for this quantity of food?

  3. ohh....that's a very good question sister gave me the crockpot; it's a Hamilton Beach, oval, I think 5 quart ? Looks just like this (above pic is top view, after we'd taken out a few bowls...this filled it right to the top.)

    Sadie - I think I want it just a little spicier and of the drawbacks of the slow cooker is that the after spices cook for 10 hours they tend to get a little muted. May just use more, or may add part of the spices partway through...haven't decided yet. May just wait and see what you put in yours :)

  4. Hi Karen

    Lovely recipe and great taste too.

    You're right to try adding some spices later in the cooking process, it'll make a difference. Here in France we use raz el hanout as well, but make sure you buy a good one; some use curry powder and they're not the best. You might also try some dried apricots and some toasted almonds. If you toss the almonds in a little icing sugar, before serving, you should get the sweetness you desire.


  5. Thank You!!!! I love this.
    Tweaked it a little for my ozzie tastes though - left out the pear and carrots and instead included dried apricots and preserved lemon, also mixed in some almond meal at the ned which just thickens it all up and gives a great texture - outstanding!

  6. oh, I'm so glad ! I'm dying to make preserved lemons, definitely want to try them in this !