Lamb Tagine with Dates
(Tagine de Mouton aux Dattes — Morocco)

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boneless lamb shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely-ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup whole pitted dates
  • Toasted almonds
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Trim fat from lamb; cut lamb into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven until hot. Cook and stir lamb in oil until all liquid is evaporated and lamb is brown, about 25 minutes; drain.
  3. Stir in onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cinnamon and saffron; cook and stir over medium heat 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in water and honey. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Stir dates into lamb mixture; simmer uncovered 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon onto platter. Garnish with almonds and lemon slices.
  7. Serve with couscous if desired.