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.
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.
Evenly sprinkle with the spice mixture, and again, mix thoroughly with your hands.
Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
Place the onions on the bottom of the tagine dish, and sprinkle with salt. Sweat them down for about 20 minutes on medium.
Slowly, add the meat, and break up any pieces that are stuck together.
Cook for about 20 minutes, uncovered, and stirring often.
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.
Wrap the cardamom pods in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with a piece of twine. Add to the meat and broth mixture.
Stir in the apricots and pistachios.
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.
Line with the potatoes forming concentric circles over the simmering lamb.
Cover again, and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Sprinkle the parsley on top.
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.