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Recipe: Lamb Tagine with Couscous

The Rt Rev’d Philip North, Bishop of Burnley, suggests this richly spiced and fruited warming dish as the winter evenings draw in. The dish is named for the vessel in which it is normally prepared in its native Morocco, but you needn’t have one: simply use a heavy-bottomed pot with a lid so can simmer the tagine for a long time without burning it.

This will be the menu for our virtual parish dinner on Monday, 21 December. Sign up below to receive the Zoom link on the day.

Wine choice: 2016 Yerevan Areni/Karmrayhut, Armenia Wine Company £9.95

Anything soft, smooth and with plenty of fruit goes well with tagine. I’m naturally drawn to a wine from the Eastern Mediterranean. A recent find was from Armenia which boasts one of the oldest wine growing civilisations in the world, although we seldom see their wines in the UK. The Armenia Wine Company is relatively new, having their first vineyards planted in 2006. Made from predominantly Areni, it is medium bodied with an attractive cherry and floral character. Very good and will cut through the lamb and couscous.



2 large onions, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
.25 tsp powdered saffron
1 tsp ground cumin
.5 tsp turmeric
.25 tsp ground nutmeg
a pinch of chili powder, to taste
1 kg (2 lbs) lamb leg or shoulder, trimmed of some fat and cut into cubes
2.5 cm (1 in) fresh root ginger, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
500 grams (1 lb) unsweetened dried apricots

For serving

50 grams toasted almond slivers
steamed rice or couscous



Fry the onion gently in the oil until soft


Stir the cinnamon, saffron, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg, and chili powder into the oil until they begin to release their aroma


Add the lamb, coating it in the spice and onion mixture


Add the ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, and .5 litre of water. Cover and simmer 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally and adding more water if needed


Add the apricots and cook for 30 minutes more, adding water if necessary


Garnish with toasted almonds and serve with steamed rice or couscous and green beans or a green salad

Come eat with us!
Each week we'll send you the Zoom link so you can join our dinner party from your own home.

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Dinner at the Vicarage
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