This is a very traditional Jewish Moroccan recipe that we typically have for lunch on Shabbat, but is also perfect for a Friday night dinner. Don’t let the long list of ingredients put you off! It really does not take a long time to prepare and it is very easy: once you have assembled all the ingredients together (about 25 minutes), all you need is to let it slow-cook for a couple of hours and that’s it. I love to serve it on top of minty couscous. This dish is even better when prepared one or two days ahead.

Ingredients for the Tagine (serves 5-6)

2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder cut into cubes
5 medium onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 handful of dried apricots
1 handful of prunes
1 handful of sultanas raisins (you can use regular raisins or golden instead)
1 handful of almonds (skin off)
2 tbsp fresh ginger (grated)
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 pinch saffron
2 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

How to Make It:

1. Salt and pepper the lamb.

2. Heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil in a large casserole dish (like a Le Creuset) and brown the cubes of lamb on all sides. Then take them out and leave them aside covered with aluminium foil.

3. In the same casserole, add the onions and garlic over a gentle heat for about 15 minutes--or until the onions become soft and slightly colored.

4. Add the lamb cubes in the casserole, all the dried fruit (apricots, prunes, raisins, almonds), the fresh ginger, all the spices, the chicken stock (which should cover the lamb. If not, add some hot water in addition), and the cilantro.

5. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and reduce to a very low heat and cook for two or two and a half hours, until the meat is meltingly tender. Taste regularly and rectify the seasoning if needed.

6 . Place the lamb in a tagine or large serving dish and sprinkle over with some chopped herbs (cilantro, flat parsley or mint).

Ingredients for the Minty Couscous

2 – 3 cups couscous
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground curry
about 3 tsp salt
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped

How to Make It:

1. Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the pack.

2. Add the cinnamon, the curry, the salt and mix well with a fork so there are no lumps. (If the couscous looks too dry, you can add a tablespoon or so of water and mix again.)

3. Add the mint and combine well.

Rebecca Bazini

World-traveler and self-taught gourmand, Rebecca has trained at Lenotre in Paris, Le Cordon Bleu in London and the French Culinary Institute in New York City. She specializes in French cuisine (being a Parisian herself), but is also skilled in Mediterranean (Moroccan, Sephardic, Israeli, Italian, Greek), Indian, and modern-American cooking. She works to cook healthful food with organic and top-quality ingredients, placing a high emphasis on creativity in the kitchen. You can find more at French Delish .