Lamb Tagine with Dates

If you’re in the mood for something a little different, try this. The dates add sumptuous fruity notes that are slightly unexpected when combined with rosemary and a hint of tomato.


  • Lamb Tagine with Dates
    Serves 6
    1. Large (approx. 5 quart) slow cooker
    2. Food processor
    3. 2 onions, quartered
    4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
    5. 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves or 2 tsp (10 mL) dried rosemary 15 mL
    6. 1⁄2 tsp sea salt 2 mL
    7. 1⁄2 tsp cracked black peppercorns 2 mL
    8. 1 piece (2 inches/5 cm) cinnamon stick
    9. 2 lbs trimmed stewing lamb, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes 1 kg
    10. 2 tbsp 30mL tomato paste or 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) minced reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
    11. 2 cups chicken stock 500 mL
    12. 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
    13. 3⁄4 cup chopped pitted dates (about 4 oz/125 g) 175 mL
    14. Finely chopped cilantro leaves
    1. 1. In a food processor, pulse onions until a grated consistency is achieved. (You can also do this on a box grater, if you prefer.) Transfer to a bowl. Add garlic, rosemary, sea salt, peppercorns and cinnamon stick and stir well. Add lamb and toss until well coated with mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
    2. 2. In slow cooker stoneware, combine tomato paste and chicken stock. Mix well. Add sweet potatoes and lamb mixture. Stir well. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until lamb is very tender. Stir in dates. Cover and cook on High for 15 minutes, until heated through. Discard cinnamon stick. Garnish with cilantro.
    3. Serves 6 to 8
    1. Tips
    2. If you are halving this recipe, be sure to use a small (2 to 31⁄2 quart) slow cooker.
    3. Tomato paste is, basically, a highly concentrated tomato purée. I buy mine at a natural foods store. It contains only organic tomatoes and salt. However, commercially prepared versions may contain a panoply of dreadful ingredients, from high fructose corn syrup to hidden gluten and even MSG. Check the label. If you can’t buy a suitable product or have concerns about using any prepared foods, substitute sun-dried tomatoes.
    4. Make Ahead
    5. Complete Step 1. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. When you’re ready to cook, complete the recipe.
    Judith Finlayson
Posted in Beef, Pork & Lamb, Gluten-Free, Recipes.


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