Food by VICE

Lamb Tagine Recipe

Matty Matheson brings the flavors of Morocco to your kitchen table.

by Matty Matheson
May 22 2018, 1:00pm

Photo by Heami Lee

Servings: 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 3 1/2 hours


for the ras el hanout:
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

for the lamb:
3 lamb shanks
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
8 shallots, halved
4 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sweet baby peppers
2 ½ cups|650ml lamb stock
¾ ounces diced ginger
2 tablespoons ras el hanout
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
10 fresh dates, pitted and halved
6 dried dates, pitted and halved
4 dried apricots, halved
1 teaspoon saffron threads
5-6 fresh figs, torn open (162g|5 ⅝ oz)
¼ cup toasted pine nuts
¼ cup parsley leaves


1. Make the ras el hanout: Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Cover and set aside until ready to use.

2. Make the lamb tagine: Heat the oven to 325°F. Season lamb shanks with salt. Heat half of the oil in a large saucepan over high. Sear each lamb shank until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Remove shanks from pan and season with fresh cracked pepper. Set aside.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in the saucepan over high. Add in shallots and allow to brown, about 1 minutes. Add in garlic and cook until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the peppers and sir to blister the sides, about another 2 minutes. Deglaze pan by pouring ½ cup lamb stock into the pan and scraping up browned bit using wooden spoon. Stir ginger and ras el hanout into pan. Pour in remaining lamb stock.

4. Using your hands, squish the tomatoes over the pan to release their juice and break them up. Add them to the pan. Let mixture come to a boil, then add in the chickpeas, fresh dates, and apricots and season with salt. Ladle the mixture into the tagine (if using). Nestle the seared lamb shanks into the mixture. Drop threads of saffron into tagine and cover. Bake in preheated oven until lamb is tender and falling from the bone, about 3 hours. Garnish tagine with torn figs, pine nuts, and fresh parsley.