Lamb Tagine With Apricots And Almonds [BBC Good Food]

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The enticing aroma of warm spices, melt-in-your-mouth lamb, and a symphony of sweet and savory flavors – that’s the magic of a lamb tagine. This North African dish, traditionally cooked in a conical clay pot, is a culinary adventure for your taste buds. BBC Good Food offers a fantastic recipe to create this restaurant-worthy meal at home, and this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.


Persian lamb tagine
Persian lamb tagine

The Lamb:

  • 1kg lamb neck fillet, cut into large chunks (feel free to substitute with shoulder or leg for a slightly different texture)
  • The Aromatics:
  • 3 tbsp ras el hanout (a North African spice blend, readily available at most grocery stores)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus an optional drizzle for finishing touches
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • The Spice Mix:
  • 2 tbsp rose harissa paste (adds a touch of smokiness and heat)
  • ½ preserved lemon, finely chopped (or a peeled strip of lemon zest)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • The Broth and Beans:
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 600ml chicken or lamb stock
  • 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained but not rinsed
  • The Sweetness (Optional):
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • The Finishing Touches:
  • 150g natural yogurt
  • Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • Small handful of flaked almonds, toasted

  • Directions:

    1. Marinate the Lamb: In a large bowl, toss the lamb chunks with ras el hanout and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or ideally overnight, to allow the flavors to develop.
    2. Sauté the Aromatics: Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots and cook for another 3 minutes.
    3. Introduce the Spices: Add the garlic, ginger, rose harissa paste, chopped preserved lemon (or zest), and cinnamon stick. Sauté for a further minute, allowing the fragrant aromas to bloom.
    4. Brown the Lamb: Increase the heat slightly and add the marinated lamb pieces. Sear them on all sides until nicely browned.
    5. Simmering Symphony: Pour in the chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat, cover the pot, and let the lamb cook for about 1 ½ hours, or until tender.
    6. Adding the Beans and Sweetness: Once the lamb is tender, stir in the drained chickpeas and dried apricots (if using). Simmer for another 15 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
    7. Finishing Touches: Season the tagine to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in the natural yogurt for a touch of creaminess.
    8. Presentation is Key: Garnish your masterpiece with fresh coriander and toasted flaked almonds for a vibrant and flavorful presentation.

    Nutritional Facts (per serving):

    This recipe yields approximately 6-8 servings. Here’s a rough estimate of the nutritional content per serving:

    Calories: 605 kcal

  • Fat: 33g (including 12g saturated fat)
  • Carbohydrates: 31g (including 12g fiber)
  • Protein: 41g
  • Salt: 1.2g

  • Please note: These are approximate values and may vary depending on the specific ingredients you use.


    The lamb tagine is a true celebration of North African flavors. With its tender lamb, aromatic spices, and a delightful interplay of sweet and savory notes, this dish is sure to impress your family and friends. So, gather your loved ones, dim the lights, and embark on a culinary adventure with this BBC Good Food recipe.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

    1. Can I substitute lamb with another protein?

    Absolutely! You can replace lamb with chicken thighs, beef chuck roast, or even vegetarian options like tofu or tempeh. Just adjust the cooking time based on the chosen protein.

    2. What if I don’t have ras el hanout?

    No worries! You can create a similar flavor profile by combining ground cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.