Moroccan Spiced Lamb Tagine

Posted on 21 January 2019


The secret behind making remarkable meals isn’t really a secret at all. It’s all about good ingredients, good recipes and preparing everything by hand with care, just like you would at home. If you need proof, here’s the recipe for our Lamb Tagine. John, from the Brand Team in the COOK Office, tried it at home recently.

Here’s his verdict:

Bought from COOK:

Cost: £17.95

Cooking time: 55mins (oven) or 20mins (microwave).

Taste: A winner of the Great Taste Award from the Guild of Fine Food. Say no more!


Cost: £30.47. I shopped at Waitrose in January 2019, and that’s not including cumin, chickpeas, oil, honey, seasoning or tomato puree, which I had in the cupboard. Quite a few spices were left over, so it would cost a bit less to make next time, but the lion’s share was the lamb (which I diced myself from a half-leg as pre-diced leg of lamb would have cost more).

Cooking time: 3hours 20mins. That’s 50mins hands-on cooking (prepping the meat and veg, stirring etc etc) and 2hours 30mins in the oven.

Taste: The spice blend was a bit off. I couldn’t find Black Cardamom at the big local supermarket and I was reminded that ‘1tsp’ means one level teaspoon. Oops. But, all in all, not at all bad for a first attempt. A 7/10, I’d say.

The Recipe:

Serves 4 (and, obviously, freezes well!)


4tbsp rapeseed oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

560g leg of lamb, diced

1tsp cayenne pepper

1tsp paprika

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp black cardamom

2 heaped tsp ras el hanout

12 pitted prunes, chopped

1 tin chopped tomatoes

4tsp tomato purée

½ tin chickpeas

450ml lamb stock

360ml water

2 tbsp sugar (or honey)

1 bay leaf

1tsp dried mint

2tsp cornflour

2 cinnamon sticks

salt to taste

flaked almonds, to serve


1. Heat 4tbsp of rapeseed oil in a non-stick pan with a lid. Add the diced lamb and brown the meat. Remove the meat and put to one side. Turn down the heat and add the finely chopped onion and garlic to the pan. Cook gently until soft (but not browned).

2. Measure out the spices and add to the pan. Cook over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent sticking. Then add the chopped prunes, tomatoes, tomato purée, chickpeas, lamb stock, water, sugar, bay leaf, mint, cinnamon stick, cornflour and a pinch of salt. Return the lamb to the pan and give it a good stir.

3. Cover and simmer over a low heat for two hours – or cook in the oven at 150°c / 130°c (fan) / gas 2 – until the meat is lovely and tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add a splash of water if it looks dry. Fish out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf and garnish with flaked almonds before serving.

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