Easy leftover lamb tagine with apricots is a richly flavoured, delicious treat. Using leftover lamb means no long, slow cooking. Ready in 35 minutes, it makes a perfect midweek supper.
Quick & Easy Lamb Tagine
Traditionally, tagines cook long and slow, but because the leftover lamb is pre-cooked, this recipe only takes about half an hour. However, it still has all the rich flavour and aroma of the original. With all the protein from the lamb and the chickpeas, it makes a hearty meal (and a little lamb goes a long way), so you could just serve it with a green salad. Alternatively, if you are feeling hungry, serve it with cous cous or flat bread.
As with many spiced stews, it tastes even better reheated the next day. If you are expecting company, make it the day before and leave yourself more time on the day.
How to Make Leftover Lamb Tagine with Apricots
Step 1 – Measure out the ingredients: dice the onion, and cut the lamb into 1–2 cm chunks. Chop the apricots, drain and rinse the chickpeas, and make up the stock if using a concentrate or cube.
Step 2 – Heat the oil in a shallow casserole dish (or sauté pan with a lid) on a medium to low ring. Fry the diced onion for a couple of minutes, and then crush and add the garlic. Fry gently for a few minutes until the onion turns translucent. You don’t want it to go brown.
Step 3 – Add the spices, and stir well to coat the onion. Cook until the spices release that delicious fragrance.
Step 4 – Add the chickpeas, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, honey, lamb, stock, and apricots. Stir well, and turn up the heat to bring the stock to the boil. Once hot, turn the ring right down to a low simmer, cover with the lid and leave to cook for 20 minutes.
Step 5 – Add half the spinach, stir in and cover for a minute. Then add the remaining spinach and the coriander stalks, and stir. It’s much easier to add the spinach in stages like this; it initially looks like there’s far too much spinach for the dish, but wilting it in two stages like this reduces the volume very easily.
Step 6 – Just before serving, sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves, and some pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds if you have them. This is a hearty dish as it is, but you could serve it with some easily prepared savoury cous cous. Simply use 1:1.25 by volume cous cous to stock in a covered bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Use about a quarter of a cup of cous cous per person for a side dish.
Hints and tips
- 250 g of lamb easily serves two people. I find this amount fits easily into a flat take-away tray, which fits easily in my freezer.
- 50 g of dried apricots is 7–8 individual pieces of fruit. I cut each into quarters using a pair of scissors; far easier than using a knife!
- You could substitute pitted dates or prunes for the apricots.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and/or toasted slivered almonds. Keep a close eye on the almonds as you toast them in a dry frying pan, as they go from just coloured to burnt very quickly. Keep the frying pan moving, and don’t walk away.
- Use a quality brand of canned tomatoes. You don’t need the absolute premium, but getting something better than supermarket budget brands makes a big difference.
- Not all brands of chickpeas are the same as some are far softer than others. I actually buy different brands for salads / hummus than I do for when I am cooking.
- Freezes well – I don’t advise refreezing if you used frozen leftover lamb.
Leftover lamb tagine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion ((chopped))
- 2 cloves garlic ((crushed))
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 2 inches cinnamon stick
- 1 tin chickpeas ((drained and rinsed))
- 1 tin plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 125 ml stock ((lamb, chicken or vegetable))
- 250 g left over lamb ((cubed))
- 50 g dried apricots ((cut into quarters))
- 2 large handfuls spinach
- 4 tbsp coriander ((separate the stalks, and chop the leaves))
- 1 tbsp slivered almonds ((optional, for garnish))
- 1 pomegranate ((optional, for garnish))
- Heat the oil in a shallow casserole dish or lidded sauté pan on a medium-low ring. Fry the onion for a couple of minutes, and then add the garlic. Fry gently until the onion is turning translucent.
- Add the spices and fry until fragrant, stirring well to coat the onion in the spice mixture.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the spinach and coriander. Turn the ring up so that the stock is boiling, then turn down to a low simmer.
- Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add half the spinach and stir it in. The spinach will wilt down; add the rest of the spinach and the coriander stalks. Stir in, cover, and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Sprinkle over the chopped coriander leaves. Garnish with toasted almonds and pomegranate seeds if using them, and serve.
- This recipe is 18 Weight Watchers Smart Points.