Moroccan Lamb Tagine - Combining two of my favourite foods and cuisines on the planet, this lamb tagine recipe is SO delicious, SO tender and SO easy to make! Tender and juicy lamb, slow cooked in a thick sauce, this recipe is so flavoursome and great for any occasion!
OMG you guys! This recipe has definitely become my new favourite and I'm so excited to share it with you! I've been wanting to make a lamb recipe since I made my feta stuffed lamb burgers in the summer! Lamb would easily be my favourite red meat, and when I can find it in supermarkets here, I need to buy it immediately!
I had a massive cook up the other day and invited 4 friends over for a dinner party to eat the leftover food! And let me tell you, this lamb tagine was gone in a second! Our friends absolutely loved it! It was one of those recipes, that makes you feel good inside after you taste it! This recipe leaves your heart happy, and your kitchen smelling absolutely amazing which, in my opinion, is a mark of an excellent recipe!
This Moroccan lamb tagine was inspired by a combination of a trip to Morocco back when I was 21, and another Moroccan recipe that I'm waiting for a special occasion to bring out!
The flavour combination in this lamb tagine is outrageously good! It's got a beautifully balanced combination of spices that really come out in the cooking process.
So let's break it down!
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Recipe Notes for a Moroccan Lamb Tagine
What should I cook my lamb tagine in?
Typically, tagine is cooked and served in a terracotta tagine pot, however, given that I was travelling for 6 weeks through Africa when I went to Morocco, bringing back one wasn't an option! I'd love to buy one someday, but for now, I can use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven instead. If you do have a tagine, make sure it's oven-proof. A lot of the decorative tagines I've seen are only meant to be used for serving, not for cooking in! If you were actually making it in a tagine as well, I would recommend stovetop cooking only. A proper tagine needs to come to temperature slowly otherwise it may crack. For this recipe, it's easy just to follow the cooking directions for an oven-friendly Dutch oven.
What type of lamb do I need?
Ideally, lamb stew meat is the easiest option for this recipe, however, you could also use a boneless lamb shoulder or lamb leg and cut it into chunks to resemble stew meat. As this is a stew, a bone in chop or elbow cut wouldn't be as good as plain stew meat. I find stew meat really breaks down beautifully and becomes SO tender rather than chewy.
Where can I find lamb?
I must admit, lamb has been a little tricky to find, especially trying to find stew meat, however, I was able to find some at our local New Seasons market in Portland. I also checked out our local butcher but he only carried large 5lbs boneless shoulders. The lamb stew at our local supermarket was around $8 per pound. My Australian and New Zealand friends, you're probably not going to find it very difficult to get lamb! Some larger supermarkets may also carry lamb stew meat, but it's always best to call ahead and ask first.
What is harissa paste and where can I find it?
Harissa is one of my favourite North African spices! I've used it before on a LOT of my recipes, including my Harissa Roasted Carrots recipe for Christmas, and my North African Spicy Shakshuka recipe! I love the bold and spicy flavour of it, and unlike a lot of other chilli paste's out there, harissa doesn't have a super spicy flavour.
Harissa paste again can be found in a lot of speciality gourmet supermarkets and the paste usually comes in tubes that you can find on shelves. One opened, I keep mine refrigerated and it lasts a long time if stored properly. The harissa flavour is just definitely not overwhelming in this recipe, so if you're worried about it being spicy, don't! It's very mild. On the other hand, if you want more spice, feel free to add more than the recipe states.
You can also get dried harissa powder, I have not tried it for this recipe however so I cannot guarantee it will yield the same results as harissa paste.
What can I serve this Moroccan Lamb Tagine with?
Couscous. And not just any couscous, couscous that is cooked in fresh orange juice and made with raisins. The lamb tagine itself is not sweet, so it needs that element of sweetness that you find in a lot of Moroccan dishes. This comes from the raisins that you'll use in the couscous.
What else do I need to know to make this dish?
There isn't much else to this dish, although I will say, this is not a quick dish to make. This is one of those glorious slow-cooked dishes that require little attention, but a lot of love and patience. For the best flavours, the meat should be marinated overnight in the spice mixture so that the flavours are able to strengthen overnight.
Other than that, this dish starts on the stove, then gets transferred to a slow oven. I cooked mine for 2-2 ½ hours until the majority of the liquid had evaporated leaving you with a delicious thickened sauce. The meat should be super tender and almost falling apart - you should be able to break it up with a fork.
After cooking, I serve the Moroccan lamb tagine with extra olives, some finely chopped mint, a handful of flaked almonds and a dollop of Greek yogurt with a sprinkle of harissa powder to serve the purpose of making it look pretty! Serve on top of the couscous, and feel free to double the batch if you want more than 4 servings.
This Moroccan lamb tagine is so, SO good for fall or winter entertaining when you're looking for something a little unique that feeds a crowd. The flavours are bold but fresh, and the tenderness of the meat is to die for!
So happy tagine cooking! And happy fall (or spring to my southern hemisphere lovelies!).
georgie x x
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
- 1 ½ lbs lamb stew meat diced lamb
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp ground paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp harissa paste
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
Moroccan Lamb Tagine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 yellow/brown onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves crushed/minced
- 1 tbsp ginger
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- ¾ cup green olives
- 1 tbsp lemon zest about the zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
Orange Raisin Couscous
- 1 ½ cup dried couscous
- 1 cup orange juice freshly squeezed
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp mint roughly chopped (optional)
- 3 tbsp flaked almonds (optional)
- Combine ground spices, salt and pepper and harissa with the lamb in a large bowl and mix together until the lamb is covered with spices.
- Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, oven-proof Dutch oven over medium to high heat.
- Add the cinnamon quill to infuse the oil and let it sit for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the onion, and fry for 3 minutes until it starts to soften.
- Add the garlic and ginger and fry off for 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the lamb, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the lamb is just starting to brown. If it gets too dry, add a dash of olive oil.
- Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan. Use a wooden spoon and gently scrape the bottom of the pan to release the flavours into the wine.
- Add the beef stock, lemon zest, and about half of the green olives.
- Place Dutch Oven in the oven and slow cook for 2 - 2 ½ hours until the liquid starts to evaporate leaving a thick sauce. If it is drying up too quickly, add a dash of stock or water. You don't want the stock to fully evaporate so that the lamb burns.
- Before serving, stir through the lemon juice and add the remaining green olives.
Orange and Raisin Couscous
- Place the couscous, raisins and salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl.
- Heat the water and orange juice in a small saucepan until it just starts to boil.
- Pour the water over the couscous, and set a plate over the top of the bowl to allow the couscous to absorb the water.
- Leave the couscous for 5-8 minutes.
- Fluff up the couscous using a fork and place into a separate serving bowl. Start by scraping the top layer, then remove each layer to ensure all the couscous has been broken up.
- Serve couscous on plates, and top with the lamb tagine. Garnish with a little bit of mint and some flaked almonds (optional).
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