Lamb Tagine

Lamb Tagine (3)

The original recipe for this tasty Lamb dish came from our long-time neighbour Theresa. It was served at one of her merry gatherings several years ago, and has been a favourite ever since. A rather neglected favourite in recent times I fear, through no fault of it’s own, so with a pack of lamb pieces needing to be used, and not really fancying Irish Stew today, I decided to revive this great little dish. It’s cooking away gently in the oven as I write, so it will be a race to see which gets finished first! The quantities I’m using today would feed 4 hungry people, and of course it is a perfect recipe for doubling up for parties.

Most people know that a Tagine is just a description of the shape of dish that this was first cooked it, but I’m just using my trusty old cast-iron casserole today, and unless you have masses of cupboard space to hold a pot that you’ll use one in a blue moon, I suggest you do as I do!





INGREDIENTS: for 4-6          Lamb Tagine (7)                                                         

  • 450g lamb pieces – because I’m bone idle I used leg of lamb pieces today. #thankyoumrsainsbury
  • 2 large onions, cut into crescents
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated.
  • pinch of Saffron stamens in a tablespoon or so of cold water
  • 1/2 (half) a teaspoon of cayenne pepper (careful, it’s spicy!)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 450mls hot Chicken stock
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 75g each of semi-dried apricots and raisins
  • 75g of Pistachios ( optional – we’re a nut-free household so we don’t bother)
  • Rapeseed oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Basmati or Pilau Rice and Naan bread, to serve.



  • Put the saffron on to soak in a tablespoon of water.
  • Heat 1-2 tablespoonfuls of oil in the casserole to a medium-hot heat
  • add the lamb pieces, and stir around to allow them to brown a little ( about 5-10 minutes)
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions. Stir in and allow them to soften but not brown.
  • Add the garlic and ginger.

Lamb Tagine (5)

  • Add the spices, the saffron and it’s soaking water, and the stock.
Lamb Tagine (6)

And here it is, gloriously golden, after just a few minutes soaking

  • Stir all well to combine

Lamb tagine (9)


  • add the chopped tomatoes, and stir in.
  • Season with salt to taste.
  • Add the apricots, raisins and nuts, if using.
  • Give it all one last stir, then cover with a close-fitting lid and put into the oven at 160 degrees
  • Give it about an hour – the leg of lamb pieces will cook fairly quickly, but shoulder or other cuts will take a little longer.
  • If you think it’s drying out, add a little more water and return to the oven at a reduced heat (about 120-140) for the final cooking of about 30 minutes.
  • It’s ready to eat as soon as the lamb is cooked – you’ll have to taste a bit to see,
  • I serve this really simply with basmati rice and Naan or flatbread.


  • Naturally this will taste even better if you leave it until tomorrow, so it’s perfect for preparing ahead.
  • Some people don’t like Lamb, so I think skinless and boneless chicken thighs might be worth a shot in this sauce. Reduce the cooking time if you’re using Chicken.
  • I removed this from the oven about 15-20 minutes before I served it. I think that slight cooling enhances the flavours.
  • We had this next door one time, served with a Moroccan-style couscous, it was very good too.





I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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