One of the hardest parts about giving up six main food groups and items for baby A (she has protein digestion issues so I’m not eating dairy, wheat, eggs, fish, soy or peanuts) is finding quick, easy weeknight meals. Through a lot of trial and error, J and I have learned that some meals that look easy aren’t and some that look time-consuming are actually simple. This is a simple one. We’d put off making Lamb Tagine with Potatoes and Chickpeas from Williams Sonoma because it looked complicated. We were throughly surprised to learn it was easy and perfect for a busy weeknight.
3 teaspoons cumin seeds (we used ground)
3 teaspoons coriander seeds (we used ground)
3/4 teaspoons peppercorns (we used ground black pepper)
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika (we used Hungarian)
1 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt, plus more, to taste (we used Kosher)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lb. boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1-inch cubes (we just used stew lamb, which was perfectly sized)
1 yellow onion, julienned
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup water
1/2 lb. small Yukon Gold potatoes, halved (we ended up using a pound and it was perfect!)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small fry pan over medium-low heat, toast the cumin and coriander seeds, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder, add the peppercorns, paprika, ginger and the 2 tsp. salt and grind until well combined. Set aside. If using ground, skip the grinding step and just combine in a small bowl. Mix with a fork.
In a tagine over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. If you don’t have a tagine, we used our most favorite pasta pot.
Add the remaining oil and the onion to the tagine or pot, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and the spice mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is caramelized, about 2 more minutes. Add the lamb, water, potatoes and the 1/4 cup cilantro and bring to a simmer. Cover the tagine or pot and adjust the heat so the mixture gently simmers. Cook for 45 minutes, then add the chickpeas and lemon juice. Continue cooking until the lamb is tender, about 45 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper.
Garnish with cilantro and serve. Accompany with couscous or rice. Serves 4 to 6.
I LOVE this dish. It’s flavorful and warming and just delicious. It’s as good cold as it is right from the stove.