Lamb Neck Tagine

lamb tagine

Sorry for the not very exciting pic but this is really very good and one of the best things I’ve made for a while. It’s a combination of a few different recipes and techniques. I’ve been working through my half a dorper lamb from Dorper Lamb (same place I got my NYE wagyu from) and the rolled roast leg was very nice, reminded me more of venison. I’m also working my way through the Pickled Pink range I got given and am using now the photos are done (also really good, available at Tarts in Northbridge – the cafe, not just any old tart, and Sayers in Leederville). There was a jar of baharat and not knowing what it was, suspected it was Middle Easterny and found out it can be used for tagines – similar to ras al hanout.

Here’s the recipe in a very convincing recipe like form –

1kg lamb neck (or shanks)
2 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tins chopped tomatoes – drained with juice reserved
2 pieces of lemon rind
1.5 tablespoons Baharat
4 fresh apricots, cut into large chunks
10 dates, seeded and halved
1 tbs honey
salt and pepper
2 tins of canelli beans (or similar), drained

Trim the lamb of excess fat and brown the meat in a frypan. Place lamb in a tagine or casserole. Deglaze the frypan with the tomato juice and add to the lamb. Add the stock and the lemon rind. Top with water to not quite cover the meat (remember the other ingredients). Get to a boil and the reduce to a simmer.

Meanwhile, fry the onion and the garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the baharat and stir through until aromatic. Add the tomatoes and stir through until heated. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the beans.

Place the lid on and cook gently on the stove top or in an oven at 150C for an hour and a half. Add the beans and cook for another hour or until the meat is tender. Add water if necessary or remove lid to allow sauce to reduce. Season and you can also add a little more baharat to taste.

I served it with rice which was a bit of a bodge together of basmati cooked in chicken stock with a cinnamon stick and then fried onion, garlic, cardamom seeds, and hot chilli sauce sauteed together and finely chopped lemon rind all mixed into the rice.

Entree was the lamb kofte here served on a bed of rocket, parsley and mint with a lemon and EVOO dressing.

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  1. Sabrina’s avatar

    I love tagines. Thanks for sharing, this looks really fantastic.

  2. Gracianne’s avatar

    This is a very complex and rich tajine you prepared, it must be lovely. Have you tried using preserved lemon instead of lemon rind? They really give a different taste to tajines. I found out reading all the recipes in my moroccan cookbook that most tajines are really quite simple, with only a few ingredients. But cooked so long together in the earthenware tajines, they transform into very tasty stews.

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Sabrina
    Thanks, it really was very nice and not too much work.

    Hi Gracianne
    It was lovely. I haven’t tried the lemon rind, Moroccan food is still very much a specialty food here so the ingredients aren’t readily available. I do love in an older neighbourhood and most people have lemon trees so I’ve always been meaning to make my own. Maybe I should.
    I was wondering how complex to make it, I didn’t want to overwhelm the lamb necks but I thought I’d let them speak for themselves a bit by not marinating them beforehand (that and I actaully only decided to make it that morning).I’m inspired to make some more though.

  4. Gracianne’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,
    if you can find fresh lemons easily, you should try and make preserved lemons, it is really simple. I have a recipe there:
    It worked well, they turned out really good. Only thing is, since they are preserved in salt, you have to be careful with the amount of salt in the dish. Tell me if you need translation.

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Thanks Gracianne (and thank you google translation). I loved the pic, I’l have to give it a try.

  6. Truffle’s avatar

    This sounds fantastic. Especially with the cooler weather setting in, I can’t think of anything nicer!

  7. Anthony’s avatar

    How about a nice bottle of red to go with it?

  8. FDB’s avatar


    Just sat down for a late lunch of leftover tagine, and WTF?

    *comedy double-take*

    The little lady whipped up another beauty to go with – homemade vineleaf dolmas cooked on top of trimmed loin chops. Give that a burl some time with your Dorper lamb, which by the way sounds cracking. About time a bit more effort went into making more premium quality baa baas. How much was the side, if that’s not too personal a question?

    Preserving lemons is, as Gracianne says, as easy as piss. Try to find really little ones, and it doesn’t matter so much if they’re a bit crappy juice-wise – it’s the rind you want anyway. Use unadulterated sea salt though, I made some once where you could taste the iodine.

  9. teddlesruss dat who!’s avatar

    Must be the season or something – I’ve been digging out the Arabic and Lebanese cookbooks and making recipes from the good ole days when I lived on Bahrain… This sounds bloody delish, consider the recipe snaffled…

  10. Anthony’s avatar

    *comedy double-take*
    [boinglike sound]
    Yeah the faintest chill and it’s quick to the casserole dish. Hats of to the lady for the dolmades idea, sounds delish.
    Yeah nice to see a few specialist varieties out there and dorper’s good eatin’ (there’s also Damara now). Half a side cost me around $80-$90 IIRC and that was delivered.
    Mmm iodine, nice if you’ve got radiation sickness though.

    Snaffle away, it’s the reason for the season.

  11. Freya and Paul’s avatar

    This is my first visit to your blog and you’ve already inspired me to finally use the pack of neck of lamb that’s been clinging to the back of the freezer for longer than is legal!

  12. Anthony’s avatar

    Well howdy then. Let me know if you lived through it.

  13. patrick’s avatar

    you gotta make the preserved lemons, I do it all the time; constantly have a bottle going in the cupboard.

    Salt’s no so much an issue, I would say it’s mandatory to wash em first.

    Also, I highly recommend the flavour combo of lamb and pomegranate juice (woolies stock it now…).

    Mmmmmm, I love winter: the smell of something slow cooked filling up the apartment.

  14. Anthony’s avatar

    Argh you’ve invoked the ‘dude’, I’m powerless to resist. Consider them done.

    Cheers for the pomegranate tip – I’ve got a bottle of the syrup and don’t have a lot of things to do with it.

  15. patrick’s avatar

    I’m glad to hear you respect the power of dude. Preserved lemons also make excellent cheap classy presents for people you like, just not enough to spend real money on them.

    Here’s the salad I made with pomegranate

  16. Jeanne’s avatar

    “I do love in an older neighbourhood” – erm, a hitherto undisclosed geriatric fetish?? And does this explain where you get your mint 1970 issues of Aussie Women’s Weekly from?!

    Tagine sounds great – one of those things I keep promising myself I will make one day when I’m big…

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Foolish is he who ignores the dude.

    Nice salad, I saw actual pomegranates in the shop the other day, should get some.

    I’m forty in just over two years, I think it’s more a case of working with my peers.
    Gawn make one.. there should be another three or four months of cold weather in England

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