Apparently my cooking is driven lately by food envy. Take my previous post about pancit and lumpit as an example. Food so unique and desirable that it warrants a special delivery and special mention? Well, I'll have what she's having! Tonight's dish is inspired by the occasional evening drop-in on my neighbors across the street who lived in Egypt for several years and quite frequently cook Middle Eastern cuisine. Whenever I come into their house and smell something delicious cooking for dinner and I ask what the wonderful smell is, it seems that at least half of the time the answer is "tagine". Well, I want *my* house to smell delicious, too!
If you want YOUR house to smell delicious, then this is what you do:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 pounds lamb meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch saffron
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 carrots, peeled, cut into fourths, then sliced lengthwise into thin strips
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can homemade chicken broth or low-sodium canned broth
- 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
- 1 tablespoon water (optional)
Place cubed lamb in a bowl, toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and set aside. Combine the paprika, turmeric, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, ginger, saffron, garlic powder, and coriander; mix well. Add to the lamb in the bowl, and toss around to coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the lamb in batches, and brown well. Remove to a plate.
Add onions and carrots to the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh garlic and ginger; continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes.
Return the lamb to the pot and stir in the lemon zest, chicken broth, tomato paste, and honey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender. If the consistency of the tagine is too thin, you may thicken it with a mixture of cornstarch and water during the last 5 minutes.