Moroccan Lamb “Tagine”

Moroccan Lamb "Tagine" cooked in a Crockpot

Moroccan Lamb “Tagine” cooked in a Crockpot

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One of our favourite low-fuss recipes for a cold Winter night is adapted from a Northern African dish cooked in a conical earthenware pot called a tagine.  I don’t have a tagine, or the charcoal fire it sits in, but that hasn’t stopped me pressing my crockpot into service to produce a satisfying facsimile. Close your eyes and let the rich aroma carry you off to the kasbah 🙂


Ras el Hanout is a North African Spice mix. In this recipe you can substitute 1 Tbsp each; ground cumin seed, ground ginger, ground coriander seed.

This is one of the few dishes I normally cook using canned tomatoes as it’s a winter favourite and fresh tomatoes are either too expensive or green-house tasteless. Choose tomatoes canned in their own juice to maximise flavour.

This recipe also works very well for veal or goat. Choose a lean roasting cut of either shoulder or leg. Leave the bone in to include nutritious bone broth and a richer stock.

Spice rubbed, stock added, ready to cook

Spice rubbed, stock added, ready to cook

Serves 8

  • 2.5 kg/5 lbs lamb shoulder OR leg roast (bone in)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 3 Tbsp Ras el Hanout spice mix OR substitute (see notes)
  • 2 fresh cayenne chilies OR 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cinnamon quills OR 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 litre/4 cups veal OR vegetable stock
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 4 large onions
  • 3 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes OR 1 kg/2lbs fresh tomatoes
  • Handful of chopped coriander leaves, to serve
meat falling off the bone now.

meat falling off the bone now.

Using a very sharp knife, make long, 3cm/1¼” deep slits in the lamb about 3cm/1¼” inches apart.

Brush or rub the lamb with olive oil.

Peel and crush the garlic.

Rub Ras el Hanout (or substitute spices) and crushed garlic into the lamb, taking care to get as much as possible into the cuts in the meat. Place slow cooker.

Wash the cayenne chilis thoroughly. Remove the tops and seeds. Place in crockpot with cinnamon quills.

Stir honey into stock until dissolved.

not long now

not long now

Turn the crockpot onto high, pour the stock mixture over the lamb. Cover and cook 4 hours.

I usually start pulling the meat from the bone around now to make sure all those flavours cook right through. Remove any visible fat.

Peel and coarsely chop the onions. Place in slow cooker with the lamb.

Peel and chop tomatoes (if using fresh).  Stir tomatoes into the crockpot.

Cover and cook a further 2 hours.

Serve with steamed green beans and couscous.


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