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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lamb Tangine Over Preserved Lemon Couscous

This is by far one of my favorite recipes. I first made it with a few friends when I was living in Hoboken, NJ. We had an international food night and would pick a random country and then pick a dish we wanted t make. 
The recipe screams fall and winter and warms -- as it's filled with spices that warm you but aren't insanely spicy. 
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.
Lamb Tangine

Serves 6
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hours 

3 1/2 to 4 pounds of lamb, cubed (bone-in) 

Spice rub:
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika (regular is fine, but smoked paprika is better) 
  • 1 tbsp of cumin
  • 1 tsp of ginger powder (or 1 inch of ginger root, chopped)
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 preserved lemon, chopped (reserve half for couscous)
  • 3 tsp of lemon juice 
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil

STEP 1: Put the spice mixture on the lamb and allow to marinate, rest in a bowl.

Prepare the rest of the ingredients:

  • 6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, diced 
  • 2 red potatoes, or one small Idaho potato, cubed (optional) [you could also substitute sweet potato]
  • 1/2 cup of pitted olives (Spanish or Mediterranean), halved
  • 1/2 cup of dates, pitted and halved 

  • 1/4 cup of tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 1/2 cups of chicken or beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 threads of saffron, crumbled
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup of cilantro, chopped

STEP 2: In a large pot, add some olive oil and throw in the cinnamon stick, cloves, onions and carrots (and potatoes, if using) and sauté. 

STEP 3: Once the onions are translucent, add the spiced lamb. Brown the lamb on each side. 

STEP 4: Add tomato paste and honey. Stir. Allow the honey to begin to caramelized. 

STEP 5: Add chicken broth & water and saffron. 

STEP 6: Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes without lid. Then add the olives and dates. 

STEP 7: Simmer with lid for 30 minutes to 45 minutes up to an hour. Skim off any fat. 

Remove lid and check tenderness of lamb. Taste for salt, add to taste. If you're satisfied, add cilantro and parsley. Serve over lemon couscous. (Recipe to follow)!

Preserved lemon couscous:

  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1 tsp of oil
  • Chicken broth
  • 1 large clove garlic, keep whole
  • Remaining chopped preserved lemon (from lamb recipe) 
  • Salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp because preserved lemon has salt) 

STEP 1: In a pot, sauté couscous with 1 tsp of oil. Slightly toast, don't brown or burn (makes it bitter) 

STEP 2: Cook couscous using directions from package. Normally you boil the liquid and add the dry couscous to it. It's about 1 1/2 cup of liquid per cup of couscous, but it depends on the type so follow the directions on the box.

But you should use chicken broth as the liquid. 

STEP 3: When adding the liquid, also add the preserved lemon and the garlic clove whole. 

STEP 4: Set aside until ready to serve. You can pull out the garlic clove before serving as it's used to flavor.