Slow Cooked Lamb & Apricot Tagine

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Prep time
10 mins
Cooking time
3 h

This traditional Middle Eastern dish is named after the pot in which it is cooked in. Slow-cooking in this domed dish develops delicious flavours and beautifully tender meat.


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 500g lamb leg, diced
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout paste
  • 200g butternut squash, diced into 3cm cubes
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • 500ml lamb stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp soft brown sugar
  • Sea salt & cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 150g dried apricots
  • A handful of Coriander, chopped
  • Couscous


  1. Place the tagine over a low to medium heat and warm the oil. In batches, brown off the lamb then set aside. If required, add a little more oil and then gently fry the onions for 5 - 6 minutes until they start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic to the pan and fry for a further minute before sprinkling in the cumin, cinnamon and paprika. Toast the spice for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure they do not burn.
  3. Stir in the ras el hanout paste followed by the butternut squash, coating it in all the spices. Return the browned meat and all its juices to the tagine. Finely dice the coriander and add to the tagine.
  4. Pour in the stock and stir all the ingredients together and bring to the boil. Once boiling, stir in the brown sugar and generous pinch of salt and pepper. Place on the tagine lid, turn down the heat and allow to gently simmer for 2.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 2 hours when the meat is tender, scoop a cup of sauce from the tagine. Whisk in the cornflour to form a smooth paste and pour the mixture back into the tagine. Stir well and the sauce will start to thicken.
  6. When ready to serve, remove from the heat and sprinkle with the roughly chopped coriander. Serve alongside couscous.

Cook's notes

For added texture, why not add pistachios or almonds to the dish. Either added at the beginning whole, and allowed to soften throughout the cooking, or used as extra crunch when sprinkled on top before serving.For the ‘hands free’/oven cooked version, cook the tagine in a low 150°C/ Fan 130°C/ Gas Mark 2 for the same time once all the ingredients have been brought to the boil on the hob.

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