12 December 2008

This was the main dish of my Moroccan-themed meal.  A tagine is a slow-cooked stew.  It's also the name of the vessel it's traditionally cooked in.  I found a recipe for the slow cooker.

Lamb Tagine for Slow Cooker

1 ½ lbs. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed with press
1 can (15 – 19 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup chicken broth
⅓ cup raisins
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2-3 lbs. boneless lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 1” chunks
½ cup pitted green olives

In a 6 qt. slow cooker, combine squash, tomatoes, onion, garlic, beans, broth, and raisins. In a small bowl, combine coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and ground black pepper. Rub spice mixture all over lamb; place lamb on top of vegetable mixture. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.

Stir olives into stew.  Serve over couscous.

Makes 6 servings.

It was pretty good.  The squash cooked down completely, as did the raisins, apparently.  We couldn't taste them!  And the beans held up really well.  I thought they would have turned to mush by the time it was done.  But they didn't.  The only thing I did differently from how it's written here is that I totally forgot to add the olives in at the end.  Oops!  Oh, and I didn't have as much tomatoes as it called for; I think I only had one plum tomato.

A note on the lamb: I couldn't find a hunk of boneless lamb shoulder.  I ended up using lamb leg (that I found at Sam's.)  It was really fatty, so I took the time to trim it really well before cubing it.  Here's an idea of how fatty it was: when I bought it, it was 4 pounds; after trimming, it was about 2.7 pounds.  Yikes!  That would have made a total mess out of the stew.  So be sure your lamb is lean.

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