Moroccan Lamb Stew

In the souks of Morocco, the tradition of centuries of artisans and tradespeople lives on in a dizzying atmosphere of color and sound. These marketplaces are flooded with goods and crafts from hand-woven tapestries and clothing to intricate ceramic cookware and leather pieces. Among the most enticing areas of any Moroccan souk are those occupied by the spice traders, peddling saffron, paprika, cayenne, harissa cinnamon and others commonly found in the local cuisines. The aromas wafting through the air in these tantalizing corridors will soon be wafting through your own home kitchen, down the hallways and under the noses of your favorite dinner companions, as we prepare for a traditional lamb tagine with Chef Jon Ashton.

The tagine itself – a ceramic pot with a funnel-topped lid that allows the steam to rise and results in unbelievably tender meat – is said to date back to ancient Roman times, although over the years, its design and use have become synonymous with Moroccan cuisine. Many are colorfully adorned with painted designs, making them a lovely addition to a kitchen’s aesthetic. And while this ancient tool is still the go-to piece and method for preparing Moroccan stews, modern inventions offer convenient options and equally mouthwatering dishes. Dutch ovens, slow cookers and heavy-bottomed pots are all acceptable tools of the trade for this week’s recipe.

The ingredient list is long and exotic, so check the detailed recipe below carefully as you prep your pantry!

© 2016 Jon Ashton