Let me start by assuring you , a Tagine is optional in this recipe , in fact , a covered Dutch oven works great . This recipe appeared quite recently in the New York Times , created by chef Andrew Carmellini . It is delicious and the warm spices fill the air with a heady aroma . The spice mixture called for here is one I like to keep on hand , but if you have trouble finding “ras el hanout ” , you can easily make up your own spice mixture with the recipe below.
3/4 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
Generous pinch cayenne
Stir all the spices together , set aside
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 lbs lamb stew meat , cut into chunks
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 medium onion , sliced into medium width pieces ( about 1 cup )1 clove garlic , peeled
1 tbs diced fresh ginger ( from about 1 inch )
juice of 1 orange
1 14 oz can diced or chopped tomatoes
1 2 inch long piece of orange peel
2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp honey
1 medium carrot , sliced 1/2 inch thick ( about 1 cup )
1 celery rib , sliced 1/2 inch thick ( about 1 cup)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 1/2 tbs sesame seeds
8 green olives , sliced into quarters ( about 1/4 cup )
In a large , ovenproof stew pot or Tagine , heat oil over medium high heat . Season lamb all over with salt and pepper . Add meat to pot and stir to coat in oil . Brown for about 5 minutes , stirring occasionally to make sure the meat browns evenly on all sides . Transfer the meat to a bowl and set it aside .
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion , stirring to coat . Saute for about a minute , until it begins to soften . Add the ginger and garlic and add the meat back to the pot . Stir everything together . Squeeze the orange juice into the pot and mix well . Add the tomatoes , orange peel , spice mixture , chicken broth and honey , mix well . Raise the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover the pot and put in in the oven . Cook for 1 hour or until the meat is half cooked.
Stir in the carrots and celery and return the pot to the oven . Cook for another 30 to 40 minutes , until the sauce is thick and reduced and the lamb is tender.
While the tagine is in the oven , in a small pan until golden , stirring regularly to make sure the almonds don’t burn .
Remove the garlic and orange peel from the tagine . Add the olives and spoon the tagine onto a large serving plate . Sprinkle the almonds and sesame seeds on top . Serve immediately .