Lamb and Apricot Tagine

Tender lamb legs, savory spices and sweet apricots make up this appetizing recipe. This dish contains the perfect combination of salty and sweet with just the right crunch provided by high-quality U.S. peanuts. You’ll be happy you tried it!

  •  Serves: Makes 6 servings
  • Cooking Time: 360 minutes



3 lbs (1.5 kg) boneless lamb leg, trimmed
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
½ tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp (30 mL) peanut oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-inch (2.5-cm) gingerroot, scraped and sliced
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1½ tsp (7 mL) ground cumin
1⅛ tsp (5.5 mL) cayenne
3 cups (750 mL) chicken broth
½ tsp (2 mL) saffron threads
¼ cup (60 mL) smooth natural peanut butter
1 cup (250 mL) halved dried apricots
½ cup (125 mL) pitted Medjool dates
minted couscous with peanuts and lemon (recipe below)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
mint leaves


Trim lamb; toss with salt and pepper.

In large Dutch oven, heat half of the oil over medium-high heat. Without crowding, and working with about a third of the lamb at a time, brown pieces on all sides. With slotted spoon, transfer to large plate.

Drain off any fat; add remaining oil. Over medium heat, fry onions, garlic and gingerroot until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in cinnamon, cumin and cayenne; fry for 3 minutes to develop flavours, stirring often.

Meanwhile, heat 1 cup (250 mL) of the broth with saffron until steaming. Stir into the onion mixture, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of pan.

For stove-top braising method:

Return lamb and any accumulated juices to Dutch oven; stir in remaining 2 cups (500 mL) broth. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 hour. Stir in peanut butter, apricots and dates. Simmer, covered, until lamb and apricots are tender and juices thickened, about 40 minutes.

Serve over Minted Couscous with Peanuts and Lemon with lemon wedges and mint leaves.

For slow cooker method:

In slow cooker, combine lamb and any of its juices with onion mixture, 1½ cups (375 mL) of the remaining chicken broth, apricots and dates.

Cover and cook on low until lamb is tender, about 3½ to 5 hours. Skim off any fat. Press lamb to one side of slow cooker. Whisk peanut butter into liquid in slow cooker; stir to mix ingredients.

Cover and cook on high until thickened, about 10 minutes, stirring in remaining ½ cup (125 mL) broth if needed for saucy consistency.

Serve over Minted Couscous with Peanuts and Lemon with lemon wedges and mint leaves.

Minted Couscous with Peanuts and Lemon: Place 2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat couscous and 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon rind in heatproof bowl. Cover with 2 cups (500 mL) boiling chicken broth or water; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. With fork, toss with ½ cup (125 mL) chopped roasted peanuts and ¼ cup (60 mL) shredded fresh mint.


Tip: To substitute beef for the lamb, use a boneless beef cross rib roast, cubed. Cooking time in Stove-Top Braising Method is similar: for Slow Cooker Method, increase time to 6 to 8 hours, stirring in apricots and dates at the 4 hour mark.