Food Recipe Vol. 26 No. 04

Lamb and Date Tagine

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This heavily Moroccan-inspired braised lamb and date tagine is an incredibly flavorful dish. Gently spiced melt-in-your-mouth lamb chunks are layered with a caramelized spiced honey date sauce and topped with toasted sesame seeds and almonds. Serve with toasted bread and a salad.

Lamb and Date Tagine- Recipe by Hind Kasem @bookofdishes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 yellow onion, grated
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout (7-spice Arabic seasoning)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons black pepper
  • ½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ½ teaspoons saffron, bloomed
  • 1 cup halved Medjool dates
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds.
  • ¼ cup fried almonds, garnish
  •  ¼ cup chopped cilantro, garnish

Preparation

  1. Trim lamb of all excess fat and silver skin. Clean lamb and cut into two-inch cubes.
  2. Finely grate onions and garlic using a grater or a food processor.
  3. Place saffron threads in warm water and allow it to bloom.
  4. Add lamb to bowl and coat with grated onion, garlic, spices, and bloomed saffron. Mix well and marinate for at least two hours to maximize the flavor.
  5. In a large pot, heat butter and olive oil. Saute marinated lamb until browned.
  6. Cover browned lamb pieces with water and bring to a boil on medium high heat.
  7. Reduce to medium low heat and allow to simmer with the lid on for an hour and half, or until the lamb is fork tender.
  8. Remove the pits from dates and cut in half. Set aside.
  9. In a small pot, add date halves, honey, cinnamon and all reserved sauce from the lamb.
  10. Cook the sauce on medium high heat until the sauce reduces to a thick gravy.
  11. On a serving dish, arrange lamb so it is spaced out slightly.
  12. Top with spiced honey date sauce and caramelized date halves.
  13. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, fried almonds and cilantro.

Cooking time: 2 hours

Cook’s note: Hind Kasem uses Joolies Medjool dates in this recipe.

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An engaging speaker and writer, Melanie Young hosts the weekly national radio shows, The Connected Table Live, featuring conversations with global thought leaders in wine, food, spirits and hospitality (a Feedspot Top 10 Food & Drink Podcasts for 2021), and Fearless Fabulous You, a lifestyle show for and about women (both on iHeart and more than 30 other podcast platforms). Young has contributed articles on wine, spirits, food, and culinary travel to Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily, Wine4Food and Jewish Week. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Wine Media Guild, and Women of the Vine & Spirits. Young’s former marketing and events agency, M Young Communications, worked with global wine, food organizations, publishing companies and nonprofits. She had an integral role in the creation, launch and management of The James Beard Foundation Awards, New York Restaurant Week, and Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund (2001) which raised funds to provide for the families of restaurant workers killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. www.theconnectedtable.com www.melanieyoung.com Instagram @theconnectedtable

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