Moroccan Lamb Tagine Smothered with Olives

  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Pinch ground saffron

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 pounds lamb shoulder, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup grated yellow onions, rinsed and squeezed dry

Freshly ground black pepper

3 cups dark veal or chicken stock

2/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish

1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 pound crack green olives, drained and pitted

3 to 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Couscous, recipe follows


  1. In the cup of a small food processor, combine the saffron, ginger, pepper, cumin, paprika, garlic, salt and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Process until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, toss the shoulder with the above mixture. Mix well. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in large cast iron or heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the lamb and sear for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the onions. Season with pepper. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the stock. Add the herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Remove any scum that has risen to the surface of the liquid. Add the olives to the cooking liquid, increase the heat to high and boil for about 10 minutes or until the mixture is like a thick gravy. Stir in the lemon juice and reseason if necessary. About 30 minutes before serving, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the meat in a shallow ovenproof serving dish and cook until the meat is lightly crisped, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the lamb with the couscous. Garnish with parsley.