Passover for us is a communal affair, best observed with friends, preferably at a restaurant seder. This year, we stayed home and made Ruth Reichl’s Matzo Brei and this amazing Lamb Tagine from the Boston Globe.

Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Peas

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes Total Time: 2 hours


Source: Sally Pasley Vargas


  •  pounds boneless shoulder or leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, halved and sliced
  • 1 piece (1 1/2 inches) fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  •  teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Maras or Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  •  cups chicken stock
  • 6 ounces dried apricots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves (for garnish)


The dish tagine, a North African stew, is named after the earthenware vessel it is cooked in. A cone-shaped pot lid traps the steam as the stew cooks, resulting in a tender melding of all the ingredients. Use your favorite stew pot in a slow-braise to replicate the method. Tagines are made with many different meats and vegetables, typically not browned first, which makes the dish easy. Here, the main ingredient is lamb cut from the shoulder or leg into 2-inch pieces. Dried apricots and a plethora of warm, inviting spices (ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon) cook with the meat. Peas bring a spritely and springlike feel, while lemon rind and juice balances the sweetness of apricots.


1. Set the oven at 350 degrees.

2. Sprinkle the lamb all over with salt and pepper. In a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven off the heat, combine the lamb, onion, oil, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, red pepper, and tomato paste. With a large kitchen spoon, stir the lamb and onions to coat them with spices.

3. Set the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes to toast the spices lightly. The lamb will not be completely browned. Pour in the chicken stock.

4. Cover the pot with a lid and transfer it to the oven. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

5. Remove the pan from the oven. Stir in the apricots. Return the pot to the oven, uncovered. Continue cooking for 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender when pierced with a skewer. (Total cooking time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.)

6. In a small bowl, pour hot tap water over the frozen peas. Let stand for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the peas are defrosted; drain.

7. Remove the pan from the oven. Stir in the peas, lemon rind, and lemon juice. Let the mixture return to a boil and simmer 1 minute, or just until the peas are hot. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and red pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with cilantro leaves.

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