When you think of a tagine, you probably picture tender chunks of meat stewed in liquid, with vegetables or maybe chickpeas, poured over couscous or rice. This lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins isn't quite the stew you imagine. I'd call it lamb candy, if that made any sense at all, because the honey and fruit give the meat a sweet, caramelized glaze that is so good, you'll want to lick every bit off your fork. Garlic and lemon keep the dish well balanced, adding just enough savory notes on your taste buds. Though lamb is a traditional favorite, you can make this dish with beef or chicken, too. It's a wow dish for parties, and you'll love the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Lamb tagine with garlic, honey and raisins
1-1/2 lb boneless leg of lamb or lamb stew meat, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1 Tbsp Greek seasoning
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp fresh black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 cups cooked couscous
2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Dry the lamb and place it in a mixing bowl. Add the Greek seasoning, lemon zest, oregano and black pepper, and toss with your hands to coat all of the meat.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over low heat. Arrange the meat in a single layer (in batches, if necessary), and brown the meat lightly on all sides. Stir in the garlic, and let it cook for 30 seconds; then add the wine, raisins and honey, plus the lemon juice.
Reduce the heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 1-1/4 hours, stirring occasionally. If the pan gets too dry and you think the meat will burn before it finishes cooking, add more wine or water, 1/4 cup at a time. You will end up with very dark lamb, caramelized on the outside, and a small amount of sauce. (Add water to thin the sauce at the end of the cooking, if you wish.)
Serve over couscous, topped with toasted pine nuts and parsley. (Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
More lamb recipes for cooler weather:
Tandoori-spiced grilled lamb
Grilled lamb with lemon and garlic
Lamb tagine with prunes and apricots
Roast lamb with rosemary, garlic and honey, from Morning Song
Leg of lamb with Moroccan spice rub, from Blue Kitchen
Beer braised leg of lamb, from Sassy Radish
Garlic lamb stir-fry with broccoli, from Appetite for China
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