Moroccan Lamb Stew.
Know how to cook lamb tajine and Moroccan Msemen bread.
Today we will “travel” to the Arab world to taste a spicy local stew – tajine. Tajine is a stew dish of meat, chicken, fish or vegetables, cooked on low heat in a special cone-shaped dish, which is also called tajine (you can see it on the background photo of the cover). A mix of aromatic spices, honey and dried fruits added to the dish makes it special. The origins of tajine come from the Berber times, from the times of invasions and conquests. Today, the tajine is an icon of Morocco, present in every house and restaurant.
To completely experience this gastronomic journey I highly recommend you also cook Moroccan puff bread called msemen. It is very easy to prepare and it is baked in a frying pan.
For 3 servings of tajine you will need:
– Lamb leg (in my case 650 g)
– 1 onion
– Prune 150-200 g (can be replaced with dried apricots or date palm)
– Raw almonds 50 g
– Fresh coriander 3-4 sprigs
– Butter 30 g
– Honey 3-4 tablespoons
– Spices: saffron, powdered ginger, pepper mixture, cinnamon stick
– Olive oil
– Lemon juice
For Moroccan bread you will need:
For the dough:
– Flour 40 g
– Fine wheat semolina 90 g
– 2 teaspoons of sugar (I use brown sugar)
– 2 teaspoons of salt (I use rose salt)
– 1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast.
– 1,5 cups of warm water
Following these proportions, you will get a perfect bread.
– Mix of olive oil and melted butter (50/50)
– Mix of flour and wheat semolina (50/50)
1) Cut the lamb meat from the leg.
2) Grate the onion.
3) Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to the stewpot. Saute onion until the liquid has
4) Add ginger, saffron and pepper. Approximate proportions can be seen in the photo. If you like spicier dishes, you can add more ginger.
5) Add meat and mix thoroughly.
6) Add coriander and the cinnamon stick.
7) Add two tablespoons of honey. Fill with water so that it barely covers the meat. Mix, cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for about an hour.
Note. I love using a pressure cooker. In the pressure cooker the cooking time is halved. Simmer meat for 25-30 minutes.
8) After an hour, pour the stew into a special oven dish or tajine, if you have one.
9) I decided to “imitate” a tajine cone and covered it with foil, making a hole in the top. Put the dish in the middle of the preheated to 170 degrees oven for 45 minutes.
10) After 45 minutes, take out the dish and add prunes. Put in the oven for another 15 minutes. (without covering)
11) Meanwhile we will fry the almonds. Melt butter in a saucepan and add almonds.
12) Fry almonds on medium heat. Carefully, almonds burn quickly, so don’t let them get a dark brown color.
13) Take out the tajine from the oven and separate the meat with plums from the broth.
14) Pour the broth into a saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of honey, bring to a boil over high heat. Most of the liquid will evaporate and the broth will thicken slightly.
Put your tajine in a serving dish, pour over the broth and mix gently. Add roasted almonds. Tajine can be served with rice or couscous.
While the dish is cooking in the oven, we can make bread.
1) Mix all the ingredients with a spatula in a bowl. Knead dough by hand. If you follow all the proportions, you get a perfect dough.
2) Put the dough on the surface, add, if needed a bit of flour, knead dough for 5-10 minutes.
3) Make balls from the dough, I got 3 big balls, you can make 6 small ones. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes.
4) Wet your hands with oil & butter mixture and begin to stretch the dough into a thin pancake. I tried with a rolling pin, and there is no need for it. Add oil to the dough’s entire surface.
5) Start to bend the dough as an envelope, adding oil and a little bit of flour and wheat semolina mix in each stage.
6) When the dough has been bent into a square shape, stretch it again into a thin pancake.
7) Place the pancake in a preheated pan (without oil) and fry it on medium heat on both sides, constantly turning over. Approximately 7 minutes in total. Result: thin puff crispy bread, super delicious hot or cold.