Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Apricots

LAMB TAGINE WITH PRUNES AND APRICOTS

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp blanced almonds

2 red onions finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and chopped

A pinch of saffron threads

2 cinnamon sticks

2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1 1/2 lb. boned lamb from the shoulder or leg, cut into 2 to 3 inch cubes

12 pitted prunes, soaked for 1 hour and drained

6 dried apricots, soaked for 1 hour and drained

3 or 4 strips of orange peel

1 to 2 tbsp honey

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Heat the oil in a tagine or heavy bottomed dutch oven, stir in the almonds and cook until they turn golden.  Add the onions and garlic and saute until they begin to turn a golden color.  Stir in the ginger, saffron, sinnamon sticks and coriander seeds.  Toss in the lamb, making sure it is coated in the onions and spices, and saute for 5 minutes.

Pour in enough water to just cover the meat and bring it to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover the tagine or dutch oven and simmer for about 1 hour until the meat is tender.  Add the prunes, apricots and orange peel, cover the tagine again and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.  Stir in the honey, just start with 1 tbsp, season with salt and pepper to taste.  Taste and if you would like it a bit sweeter, add a bit more honey.  Cover again and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Make sure that there is enough liquid in the pot, as you want the sauce to be syrupy and slightly carmelized, not dry. If needed, add a bit more water but too much to dilute the sauce.

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