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How about trying some exotic flavors in a really simple to make stew? Moroccan lamb tagine with its combination of sweet and savory flavors is one dish that is hard to resist and easy to make. You can make this in the slow cooker, dutch oven or tagine dish. | ethnicspoon.com
4.94 from 15 votes

Traditional Lamb Tagine with Apricots

This recipe for traditional Moroccan lamb tagine with apricots is perfect to feed a large crowd. In essence it's a stew that is cooked slowly in a tagine dish. The flavors of aromatic spices will fill your house with a wonderful aroma. Apricots and pistachios add a wonderful texture contrast.

Course Main dish
Cuisine Moroccan
Keyword crock pot, easy ethnic food, exotic food, lamb recipes, slow cooker, tagine recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: Change to adjust-> 8 servings
Calories 275 kcal


Seasoning for marinade

Remaining ingredients

  • 3 lbs lamb shoulder cubed into 1" pieces
  • 1 onion large, sliced
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 10 saffron threads
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 Tbsp parsley chopped
  • 10 dried apricot slices cut in half
  • 3 Tbsp pistachios shelled
  • 2 baking potatoes sliced thin


For the seasoning and marinating the lamb

  1. In a small bowl mix together all the spices.

    Place the cut up lamb in a glass dish, and drizzle with the olive oil. Mix in thoroughly with your hands.

  2. Evenly sprinkle with the spice mixture, and again, mix thoroughly with your hands. 

    Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. 

To prepare the lamb.

  1. Place the onions on the bottom of the tagine dish, and sprinkle with salt. Sweat them down for about 20 minutes on medium.

  2. Slowly, add the meat, and break up any pieces that are stuck together.

  3. Cook for about 20 minutes, uncovered, and stirring often. 

  4. In a bowl, whisk together the broth, tomato paste, and cornstarch, and add to the meat. Add the saffron to the tagine. Stir to combine.

  5. Wrap the cardamom pods in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with a piece of twine. Add to the meat and broth mixture. 

  6. Stir in the apricots and pistachios.

  7. Cover, and cook for 1 hour on low.  Feel free to ladle out and excess liquid, keep it warm and save for later when serving.

  8.  Line with the potatoes forming concentric circles over the simmering lamb.

  9. Cover again, and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft.  Sprinkle the parsley on top.

Recipe Notes

Here are some notes on using a slow cooker instead of a tagine.  Most slow cookers cook on high and this is the correct setting for this dish.  You only need to check the lamb with a fork for doneness. It should be very tender and separate very easy.  At this point you can add the layers of potatoes on top. Cook the potatoes until they are just soft.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Do I have to prepare my new tagine before I cook with it? Yes, you need to cure the tagine before you use it the first time.  Soak the tagine  submerged in water for 24 hours. Remove it from the water, dry it off with a towel and then rub olive oil by hand on the inside of the base and lid. Place the tagine in a cold oven and set to 225° F for 2 hours and then turn off and let the oven cool completely. The heat will dry out the water and draw in the olive oil to season the clay vessel. Alway wash the tagine by hand and do not soak in soapy water.
  • Can I place my tagine right on my stove? If you have an electric or non-flame type stove, yes place it on the burner. If you have a gas stove you need to place it on a metal heat diffuser.
  • How long can I store my lamb tagine? Once the stew has completely cooled, you can store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
  • Can I freeze the lefover tagine? Yes, you must completely cool the stew before freezing. Store in airtight containers for up to one month.
Nutrition Facts
Traditional Lamb Tagine with Apricots
Amount Per Serving
Calories 275 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 68mg23%
Sodium 1101mg48%
Potassium 776mg22%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 870IU17%
Vitamin C 7.8mg9%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 3.3mg18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.