Moroccan-style lamb tagine with harissa and preserved lemon

Lamb and Mutton SA
6 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 2 hrs 30 mins
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There are few things as inviting as the smell of a fragrant, spicy, exotic lamb tagine bubbling away in your kitchen. Adjust the heat by adding more dried/fresh chillies to your liking, if necessary. Brought to you by Lamb and Mutton SA.

By Independent Contributor April 08 2022
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Ingredients (17)

60 ml olive oil
1.2 kg boneless lamb cubes — or mutton
salt and black pepper
10 ml flour
1 large onion — chopped
3 garlic cloves — chopped
10 ml dried ground harissa spice blend — or 15 ml harissa paste
10 ml ground cumin
10 ml ground coriander
5 ml ground ginger
15 ml paprika
1 l lamb stock — or chicken stock, warmed
1/2 cup dates — dried and pitted or dried apricots, sliced
1/2 preserved lemon — skin only, sliced into strips, plus more for serving
handful flaked almonds — toasted, for serving
handful fresh mint — or coriander for serving
couscous — or rice, cooked to serve
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Heat the oil in a heavy-based large pot over high heat. Fry the meat cubes in batches, seasoning with salt & pepper. Add the flour to the last batch and stir well for one minute before removing the cubes from the pot. Turn down the heat to low.

Add the onion & garlic and fry for about 3-5 minutes until it is soft. Turn up the heat to medium, then add the harissa, cumin, coriander, ginger and paprika. Stir for one minute.

Add the stock and stir well with a wooden spoon to loosen all the sticky bits on the bottom. Add the fried meat back to the pot, along with the dates and preserved lemon. Stir and bring to a simmer over low heat. Cover with a lid and cook for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent the bottom from burning (the dates have a high sugar content).

When the meat is tender, remove from the heat and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve hot with couscous or rice, topped with more preserved lemon rind, toasted flaked almonds and fresh mint/coriander.


This tagine can be made a day ahead and reheated before serving as the flavours improve on standing (store in the refigerator overnight). Freezes very well.

Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA – Recipes and styling Ilse van der Merwe – The Food Fox and photos by Tash Seccombe.

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