eat well, travel often, dream big!

Making Marrakechi Tangia at Home

Marrakech has one dish that they are especially known for – tangia. Not to be confused with tajine, this is truly special. On every food tour we try to take our guests to try this food. Of course vegetarians have to miss out but for everyone else this “man meat” as one person called it is out of this world. Unlike tajines, tangia is cooked in an earthenware urn. It’s covered in parchment and slipped under the warm coals of the fernachi over night. In the morning it’s removed and the tender, falling off the bone meat is eaten by lunch.  There’s no messing around with vegetables here – it’s just meat.

The history of this food is as interesting as it is tasty. In previous generations the men who worked in the artisan shops of Marrakech had Friday (the Muslim holy day) off of work in the afternoons. On Thursday it would be someone’s turn to collect the money from everyone to make tangia. This is one dish that men did typically make. Whoever was in charge got the ingredients, put it together and delivered it to the oven. When Friday afternoon came, the men would pray the midday prayer and then go to a park or garden outside of Marrakech to eat, play music, and overall enjoy each other’s company.

All I know for 100% sure is that this is delicious. It’s worth the trip to Marrakech but if you can’t make it, you can make your own version at home. This recipe is for a pressure cooker as I know not everyone has a tangia pot at home. If you don’t have a pressure cooker you could try it in the slow cooker or cook on very low heat in a heavy duty skillet.

Kids eating Tangia

Eating tangia with our friends from Pint Size Gourmets!


Ingredients for Tangia

  • 2 lbs. lamb
  • 2 tbsp garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch of saffron threads crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 preserved lemon rind, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon smen, optional


In pressure cooker, add the olive oil and garlic while cooking on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Wash and trim lamb of all excess fat and add to the pressure cooker. Add all of the spices and preserved lemon, then mix around all of the ingredients so that the meat is covered with all of the spices.

Next add the preserved lemon, smen and water. Just enough water should be added to barely cover the meat. If cooking on the stove top add half the water and watch closely as you may need to add more. Cover the pressure cooker or skillet and cook on medium high heat for 45 minute s- 1 hour. (closer to 2 hours for the stovetop) Vent the steam and check to see if the meat is tender. It should be falling apart with a thick sauce reserved. If the meat is falling apart but there is a lot of liquid left continue boiling down the liquid. When finished turn out onto a plate and eat with crusty round bread or French baguettes.

Have you eaten tangia? What did you think?

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Moroccan Lamb and Fig Tajine

A few months ago we went to have dinner at Ksar Essaoussan in Marrakech. It’s a riad that has been remade into a restaurant, and unlike many riads here, has no rooms for guests – it’s purely somewhere to just enjoy a good meal. Just finding it was an exercise – and we’re quite familiar with the winding streets of the old medina. Thankfully each night a man in a red cape is posted on Bab L’kssour to show guests just how to get to the restaurant. The ambiance was incredibly nice and the food really well done. We had a variety of salads and tajines presented. But, the shining star was a lamb and fig tajine. The figs were sweet, falling apart and perfectly mixed with the more savory sauce of the tajine. I’ve made a similar tajine with prunes and beef with apricots – but never with figs.

Figs and Almonds

The first job was to find figs. They’re readily sold here dried and are inexpensive. But there’s two kinds, a more local variety and Turkish figs. I wanted the Turkish kind because they’re bigger and I like the flavor better. Once they were secured it was off to the kitchen. One hint on using dry figs, you’ll want to slice each one open and check inside to make sure there are no worms. While this isn’t likely, it’s good to double check.

This dish looks really complicated and even fancy but with just a pot and a pressure cooker, you can make this!

Lamb, Fig, and Almond Tajine

Lamb and Fig Tajine


  • 2 lbs lamb pieces
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic (as fine as possible)
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated, fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • pinch of saffron threads, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • small handful of cilantro
  • 10-12 Turkish dried figs
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup almonds
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • In the bottom of a pressure cooker, add olive oil. Rinse pieces of lamb and remove any excess fat. Add the lamb to pressure cooker and heat uncovered until it begins to brown.
  • Add garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, saffron, and cilantro. Mix well.
  • Cover the meat with enough water so that it's almost completely submerged.
  • Close the pressure cooker and heat on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
  • While the meat is cooking boil the almonds in water for 5 minutes so that the skins become loose and can be removed.
  • Drain the almonds and set aside.
  • In a pot, add the figs and cinnamon and just enough water to cover the figs. Turn the heat to medium and allow to simmer.
  • While you're waiting for the figs and meat, prepare the almonds. Squeeze the almond between your thumb and forefinger to remove the skins.
  • Lay the almonds flat on a baking tray, and slide into a low over for 10-15 minutes. You do not want to cook the almonds, just to remove the excess liquid - this will help them fry better.
  • After the meat has cooked for 45 minutes, release the pressure and check it. The lamb should be tender and falling apart. You should also have a thicker liquid remaining in the pot.
  • If you have a lot of liquid keep the pan on the heat and cook it down. Scoop 3-4 Tbsp of liquid into the pot with the figs.
  • The figs are ready when they are soft and can easily be torn apart. Once they are at this point, stir in 1 Tbsp of honey and adjust the liquid, adding more cinnamon if it's overly sweet.
  • In a frying pan add a thin layer of vegetable oil and slowly fry the almonds until they just turn brown.
  • Remove using a slotted spoon and drain any excess oil. Toss lightly with a little bit of salt.
  • To arrange the tajine, place the meat in a large serving dish (like a tajine bottom) along with the liquid. Place the figs on top and drizzle the liquid from the figs all over the dish. Lastly, sprinkle the almonds on top.
  • Eat by scooping up with crusty bread.

Fig and Lamb Tajine

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Jamaican Lamb Curry and Roti

Jamaican Lamb Curry

 The end of December is here and that means it’s time for my Around the World in 12 Dishes post. Every month, a group of bloggers (and anyone else who wants to participate!) make food from a specified country.  This month we’re visiting Jamaica! I’ve never been here, but it’s really high on our travel wish list. After taking a Caribbean cruise last year, we fell in love with this part of the world.

The hardest part of participating in our monthly food travels is finding ingredients. Morocco has a lot of really great spices and produce but it’s hard to find any international ingredients. If you can find them, they’re usually priced very high. I wanted to make something with plantains because we all love them, but the only way to get plantains is to find a connection with the West African migrant community here and they’re more than $1 for each plantain. They must hand carry them here. Just as a point of reference, I can buy 1 kilogram of bananas for less than $0.50. So the plaintain idea went out the window.

Next we discovered that Jamaican food has an Indian (from India) influence. I knew we’d struck gold.  We LOVE Indian food and I can get almost everything needed to make most things. I decided to make a curry. But of course there’s no curry leaves here. I managed to find a recipe that didn’t require them (I therefore don’t know if this can officially be called curry!) I bet you know how this goes, I couldn’t find some of those ingredients either, so I substituted with Mama Deacon Jamaican Jerk seasoning.  Before we left the US, Yollande the owner of Afro Fusion Cuisine sent me a bottle of this spice mix. I’ve used it a few times to season chicken but this was my first time really incorporating it into a recipe. Let me just say, this spice mix is really good. I found a lot of spices in the US were not fresh and really had little flavor. No, this one is awesome!

I loosely based my recipe for Lamb Curry and Roti off of these recipes.

I can’t say how the original should have tasted because I’ve never had it but my recipe got big thumbs up. M helped me mix the roti dough and cook it, while K was happy to dig in to fresh bread and lamb (his favorite food). M ate plenty of bread but he doesn’t like lamb so no comments from him.

K and Jamaican Roti

Jamaican Lamb Curry


  • 1/2 kg lamb pieces
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (or curry seasoning)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or more adjust for heat)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • handful of chopped cilantro


  • Wash and trim fat from lamb pieces.
  • Peel and chop onion and garlic into small pieces.
  • In a pressure cooker add vegetable oil, onions, and garlic and simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes.
  • Mix in seasoning, ginger, salt, turmeric, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
  • Add just enough water to stop the spices from burning.
  • Add the lamb pieces and enough water to cover the meat completely.
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker and allow to cook on low to medium heat for 45 minutes.
  • Release the steam valve and remove the lid. If the lamb is tender and falling off the bone it's ready.
  • If you have excess water, return to the heat with the lid of the pressure cooker removed and boil down the liquid.
  • Your final dish should have a thick sauce, almost like a gravy remaining.
  • Serve with rice and beans and roti - top lamb with fresh chopped cilantro.
  • **You can also make this in a slow cooker, add all of the ingredients at one time, add 1 1/2 cups water and cook on low 6-8 hours. Transfer liquid to a pan and boil down to a thick gravy.

Check out the other participating blogs to see what they have been cooking up:

Around the World in 12 Dishes

Adventures In MommydomAfterschool for Smarty PantsAll Done Monkey,Crafty Moms Share,Creative World of VaryaGlittering MuffinsHere Come The GirlsKid World CitizenMaroc MamaMermaids’ MakingsThe Educators’ Spin On It

If you try a dish from Jamaica, we’d love to hear about it! And don’t forget to download this month’s placemat and passport!  You can also link up your dish or craft here to share your post on all the participating blogs:

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What happens when you leave North Africa and are dropped to the Midwest in under 24 hours? Severe temperature issues that’s what! When I left Morocco it was in the mid-80’s and I’ve been “enjoying” balmy 30 degree temperatures daily since being back.  It left me with one thing to do – make soup. Lots of soup.

Italian Wedding Soup Bowl

I had a very long flight back to the US and made sure to fill my iPad with TV shows before I left. I love the free shows, especially since I don’t get to watch much American TV in Morocco. One of the shows I downloaded was My Grandmother’s Ravioli with Mo Rocca. If you haven’t seen it the premise of the show is, Mo going to the kitchens of America’s grandma’s and making their signature dishes. The grandma in this episode was making Italian Wedding Soup (among other things) to send to her triplet grandson’s, all of which were in the Air Force.

This soup isn’t something my grandma ever made. Even though I grew up in an Italian enclave I really don’t ever remember having it. It’s pretty simple, vegetables, meat, and broth. In most recipes spinach is the green vegetable of choice but with this being fall, I went with brussel sprouts instead. I also think this makes a great way to use some of the lamb you might have in your freezer.  Saffron Road has recently come out with a lamb broth that made a great base for this recipe.  I was skeptical and afraid it would be too gamey (I often feel this way with lamb) but it’s really very subtle and delicious.

Italian Wedding Soup

Italian Wedding Soup


  • 1/2 medium onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 carton Saffron Road Lamb Broth
  • 1/4 pound ground lamb
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • leaves of 4-5 brussel sprouts
  • orzo, rice, or another small pasta (optional)
  • asiago cheese (optional)


  • Chop onions and carrots as fine as possible.
  • In a large pot, add 1 tsp of butter, turn heat to low and add onions. Cook 2-3 minutes.
  • Empty container of lamb broth and add carrots to the pot, and turn heat to high.
  • While the soup heats, begin preparing meatballs.
  • Mix the ground lamb with 1/4 tsp each salt and garlic and 1/8 tsp pepper.
  • Combine spices with the meat so that it's combined well. Roll small meatballs with your hands. The smaller the better.
  • Add meatballs and any pasta to the broth as soon as it begins to boil.
  • Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the meatballs are cooked through.
  • In the final 10 minutes before serving, add the brussel sprout leaves and allow a few minutes for them to soften.
  • Serve hot, grate asiago cheese on top for an added treat.
  • *Traditionally this is made with small pasta, however being gluten-free I tend to omit it. This is totally up to you!
Disclosure: I am a paid brand ambassador for Saffron Road Food.  I do receive compensation and product in exchange for developing recipes. All opinions are my own.
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Lamb Ragout and Pasta for #SundaySupper

One of the things I have loved the most about moving to Morocco is that nearly 100% of what I cook and eat is local, fresh food. We tried very hard to eat this way in the US but as many people will say, cost really does add up.  Here fresh food is cheap – packaged food is expensive, basically the way it should be everywhere. When I can buy pounds and pounds of produce for only a few dollars, it makes experimenting even more fun.

We’ve just finished celebrating Eid al Adha, commemorating the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son at God’s command. At the last minute God told Ibrahaim he could sacrifice a sheep instead because of his obedience. Every year, Muslims around the world remember this by sacrificing a ram. In our home, there were 3 sheep to be sacrificed. I will admit that this can be a very odd holiday for those not used to it. In fact in many ways it’s still a bit odd for me and I’ve been Muslim for nearly 10 years. I can appreciate that nothing goes to waste, every, and I mean every part of the sheep is eaten or used.  The skins are collected and tanned, the organs are eaten (even the head and eyeballs!).

We don’t eat a lot of meat and so while I took some of the meat from our sheep the remainder went to other family members. I knew that I wanted to save a few pieces to make this lamb ragout in a similar style to the beef short rib sauce I made months previous. So, when I saw that this week’s #SundaySupper theme was sauce, and it was right after Eid I knew that this was the perfect recipe to re-create. You can use any cut of lamb (or beef) you’d like.  I stuck with some cuts that came from the back of the sheep.  They had quite a bit of bone but I really wanted to make this as flavorful as possible and using bone-in meat does just that.  I’m calling this a ragout, which in French means a stew but we’ve come to recognize as a type of pasta sauce. You could very easily serve this over potatoes or any other starch. Or, just scoop it up with bread like my kids!

Lamb Ragout and Pasta

Lamb Ragout and Pasta for #SundaySupper


  • 1-1 1/2 lbs bone-in mutton
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • flat-leaf parsley palmful of freshly chopped


  • I made this in a pressure cooker, but if you don't have one, it can also be made in a dutch oven or large cooking pan. You will need to extend the time and also increase the amount of water used.
  • Add 1 tsp vegetable oil to the bottom of a pressure cooker and turn heat to medium. Wash and clean pieces of mutton, removing some of the excess fat. You will want some fat to remain but remove the visible pieces.
  • Brown the meat on all sides.
  • Separate the flesh of the tomatoes from the skin (this can be done by blanching the tomatoes in boiling water and pulling off the skin, grating the flesh of the tomatoes, or simply cutting it out).
  • Add the tomato flesh and tomato paste to the pressure cooker.
  • Remove the skin from the garlic cloves and onion. I cut my onion in half, remove the skin and add it whole. I also add the garlic cloves whole. When the sauce is almost done, I remove the garlic cloves and onion. If you prefer you can chop these up and add them.
  • Peel carrots and wash mushrooms. Roughly chop these into a similar size and add to the pressure cooker.
  • Cover everything with water so that the meat and vegetables are submersed.
  • Lastly add salt, pepper, oregano, and flat-leaf parsley. Mix everything together.
  • Place cover onto the pressure cooker and screw tightly.
  • Cook sauce for 1 hour - 1 hour and a half on medium heat. Cooking time will vary depending on how tough the meat is and the bone to meat ratio.
  • Release the steam from the pressure cooker and remove cover.
  • Pull out the onion and garlic and discard.
  • Remove the meat and allow to cool. Use your fingers or a knife to separate the meat from the bones, discarding bones and excess fat. The meat should easily fall away. If it does not, return the cover to the pressure cooker and cook longer.
  • Add the meat back to the sauce and continue cooking until juices have reduced, leaving a thick sauce.
  • Before serving, taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with pasta, potatoes, or scoop up with fresh crusty bread.

Lamb Ragout

You can never have too many good sauce recipes and the #SundaySupper team has you covered this week with loads of delicious ideas.

Savory Sauces

Pasta Sauces and Pastas with Sauce

Entreés with Sauces

Sweet Sauces

Desserts with Sauces

Join the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter each Sunday. We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more fabulous recipes and food photos.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here → Sunday Supper Movement.

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Braniya {Lamb and Eggplant Tajine} for #SundaySupper

The tajine is a Moroccan slow-cooker. It’s an ancient cooking pot originally used by the indigenous Berbers of North Africa. It is not only the word used to describe the cooking vessel but the meal contained inside. Braniya happens to be one of MarocBaba’s favorite meals, though it was only this year that he “remembered.” This week’s #SundaySupper theme is low and slow, and a tajine certainly fits the bill!

Braniya and Bread

Regional names for varieties of tajines are often unknown even to other Moroccans.  In Marrakech this dish is braniya, but when talking with some friends of ours who are from the Rabat area, they had no clue what he was referring to.  So, not only do no other Arabic speakers (save for some Algerians) understand Moroccan Arabic, even other Moroccans in the country don’t understand all the variations of the language! I’m sure this tajine is prepared in other parts of the country, though I’m not sure the other names it goes by.

Here’s what I do know. 

  • This dish is amazingly delicious.
  • It’s got lamb
  • It’s got eggplants
  • It has a delicious, rich sauce.
  • DO NOT serve this on top of, next to, or anywhere near couscous.  Couscous and tajine are two different dishes that do not go together!

Most tajines are prepared, left alone to slowly cook, and then eaten by scooping up the pieces with crusty Moroccan bread.  There’s a little more work involved with braniya, but I promise it’s worth it. If you want to try your hand at Moroccan bread I’ve got a recipe for khubz here at MarocMama.  Otherwise a good loaf of French baguette does the trick.

Braniya before Cooking

Braniya {Lamb and Eggplant Tajine} for #SundaySupper


  • 2 lb of lamb, any cut works, I like a cut up rack or neck pieces
  • 1/2 large onion chopped finely
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 preserved lemon
  • 2 tsp liquid from preserved lemons
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ginger powder or 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 handful chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 4tsp water + more as needed
  • For the Eggplant Topping
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 6-8 Tbsp liquid from cooking tajine


    Starting the Tajine
  • In the bottom of a large tajine, add the olive oil and onions. Remember to follow all stovetop cooking directions for your tajine. Turn the heat to medium low and allow the tajine to heat up.
  • Meanwhile, clean and trim the lamb you will be using.
  • In a bowl add the preserved lemon liquid, ginger, black pepper, and garlic.
  • In a smaller bowl crush the saffron threads between your fingers and put into the bowl. Add 2 tsp warm water and leave for about 5 minutes. Then, mix with the lemon mixture.
  • Rub lamb pieces with the marinade, adding the chopped parsley to the top.
  • Place the pieces of lamb into the tajine, arranging so that all the pieces fit when covered.
  • Break up the preserved lemon with your fingers and slide into cavities all around the tajine.
  • Add 2 tsp of water to the bottom of the tajine, cover, and leave it alone!
  • After 1 1/2 hours check the tajine. There should be plenty of liquid from the meat cooking. If not, add some water.
  • To Prepare the Eggplant Topping
  • Peel eggplant and cut into 1/2 inch rounds.
  • Place the rounds into a large bowl full of salted water.
  • In a deep fryer or a large pan, add enough oil so that the eggplant pieces will float.
  • Heat on medium high, you'll know it's hot enough if you can add a drop of water and it sizzles.
  • Remove several of the eggplant rounds and dry on a towel. Add them to the oil and fry until they are brown on both sides. Do not crowd the pan!
  • Remove from the oil and place on a paper towel (or cloth towel) to absorb any excess oil.
  • Continue until all of the eggplant has been fried.
  • In a large frying pan, add all of the eggplants and 6-8 spoonfuls of the liquid from your cooking tajine.
  • The eggplant will start to break down, add the vinegar at this point.
  • Use a fork or wooden spoon to mash up the eggplant as it cooks. It should not be a liquid but more like a cooked salad.
  • When the lamb has cooked through completely, and there is still some liquid remaining in the tajine, remove from the heat and add the eggplant to the top of the meat.
  • Serve hot. This is usually eaten communally with plenty of bread to scoop up the meat and eggplant - don't forget an extra dip in the sauce before eating!

Moroccan Lamb and Eggplant Tajine

Come see what my other #SundaySupper contributors are bring to the table today. Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen is this week’s host (love her blog!) and you’re going to find a ton of great recipes using slow cookers, smokers and other slow cooking techniques.  on’t forget to join the #SundaySupper chat on Twitter Sunday to discuss cooking low and slow! We’ll tweet throughout the day and share our delicious recipes. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm EST. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. Check out our #SundaySupper Pinterest board for more delicious recipes and food photos.

Low & Slow Breads & Starters:

Low & Slow Mains:

Low & Slow Sides:

Low & Slow Desserts:

Wine Pairing Recommendations for Low & Slow Food from ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

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Slow Cooker Moroccan Tagine Lamb Roast with Mandarin and Pine Nut Rice

Moroccan Tagine Simmer Sauce and Lamb in slow cooker

Can you believe that delicious dish came out of my slow cooker?

I’ve been craving a meal that is melt in your mouth delicious but I’ve had almost no energy since we came back from vacation.  This meal really hit the spot.

If I told you this meal is easy to make would you believe me? It took me 5 minutes to start the meat, 5 hours in the slow cooker another 20 minutes before serving to make the rice.  Just under 30 minutes of active work time to create a meal that would impress a dinner party of guests.

What’s the secret to make this meal?  Simmer sauce.  I know that lamb can be pricey but by just using 1 package of Moroccan Tagine Simmer Sauce the cost is really offset.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Tajine

Here’s the photo proof of my roast in action.  I had a 2.5 lb lamb roast that was trimmed of excess fat. I then added 1 package of Moroccan tagine simmer sauce as well as filling the sauce package half full with water and adding that to the slow cooker as well.  Then I turned it to low and let it cook for about 5 hours.  If you left it longer the meat would simply become more tender but I didn’t want it all fall off the bone.

While the meat is in it’s final 3o minutes of cooking start to prepare the rice.


  • 2 cups of white rice- rinsed very well
  • 2 mandarin oranges segmented
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 handful of Italian parsley roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


Rinse your rice very well.  This will help create grains that are not too sticky.  Cook in a rice cooker or on the stovetop – whatever your preferred method is to prepare rice. As the rice is cooking, clean and segment mandarins and toast pine nuts.  To toast, place in a small pan on the stovetop.  Turn heat to low and pay very close attention as pine nuts burn very quickly.  Mix as they are cooking so that all sides become toasted.  Remove from the heat.  Roughly chop parsley and set aside.

when the rice is cooked, mix in the mandarins and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into your serving dish and set the lamb roast on top.  Sprinkle the top of the dish with plenty of parsley.

Moroccan Tajine Slow Cooker Lamb

Unlike a traditional tagine, this dish is best served on individual plates for each guest. You can top with the remaining liquid in your slow cooker if desired. Or, pour the liquid into a serving dish or gravy boat and place on the table allowing guests to take as they wish.

So many people have asked if you can use Saffron Road Simmer Sauce in a slow cooker and I hope this post echos a resounding “yes you can!”  Have you tried any simmer sauces in a slow cooker?  Share your favorite ideas in the comments!

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Lamb and Artichoke Tajine

Artichoke and Lamb Tajine


Lamb or mutton is a meat that was new to me. My first memory encountering this was at a  seder meal every 5th grader at my church attended.  The seder meal marks the beginning of passover in Judaism.  Don’t ask me why a bunch of Scandinavian Lutherans included this practice in their congregation. They just did. I remember that we made bread for the meal, unleavened of course.  There was haroset (my favorite), bitter herbs (parsley-very exotic where I grew up) and there was lamb.

Fatty, unseasoned lamb.

We had plenty of “good cooks” in the congregation but few that had mastered mutton. Salt, pepper and garlic were about as wild as things got in the seasonings department.  So it wasn’t until I visited Morocco and ate lamb that was well seasoned, and well cooked that I realized it was actually good.

K’s favorite food is lamb and so when I made this tajine for dinner I knew I would have at least one hearty participant.  He liked it so much a lamb sandwich of leftovers went with him to school for lunch the next day.  Last week I showed you how to clean an artichoke.  This is the perfect recipe to use with fresh artichoke.  If you only have frozen on hand, don’t worry you can use that as well.

Lamb and Artichoke Tajine


  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs lamb or mutton
  • 1 medium onion sliced into rings
  • 2-3 artichokes cleaned
  • 1/2 preserved lemon cut into several pieces
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 c water


  • In a bowl whisk together olive oil, cumin, garlic, pepper and turmeric.
  • In the bottom of a medium tajine add the artichokes and sliced onions to create a bed for the lamb.
  • Clean and trim the pieces of lamb removing some of the fat (but not all!)
  • Place the lamb on top of the onions and artichokes.
  • Drizzle the lamb with the oil and spice mixture, rubbing the mixture into the meat.
  • Place the pieces of preserved lemon around the tajine, slipping between the meat and vegetables.
  • Add the 1/2 cup of water to the tajine. Do not pour directly on top of the meat but around the edges.
  • Cover the tajine and place on the stovetop, making sure to use a diffuser if cooking on an electric burner.
  • Cook for 1 hour on low-medium heat. Check by lifting the lid and using a spoon to pour the liquid on top of the meat. Add more water if needed.
  • Cover and cook until the meat is tender and falling apart and the liquid in the tajine has reduced to a medium/thick sauce.
  • Serve with a crusty bread and eat hot.

I hope you’ll love this recipe as much as my family!  

Be sure to check out some of my other lamb recipes too:

Moroccan Roast Rack of Lamb

Laotian Lamb Larb

Mechoui – Moroccan Style BBQ

Don’t forget to join me next Monday on Twitter where I’ll be hosting a chat with Saffron Road.  They’ve launched a new sandwich wrap line that is amazing! Read all the details and get a recipe for veggie chips here.

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