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Sick kids, blogging, and a Tagine recipe

Beef Tagine over couscous served with fresh berries

Beef Tagine over couscous served with fresh berries

Okay, I haven’t blogged in a few weeks.  Well, I warned you about being gone for Thanksgiving, but when we got back, we were hit by illness.  First, Julia got Strep and then Leah.  They are both on meds now and recovering, and luckily the other two are still healthy.  So, while I was still cooking, I wasn’t blogging.  I did however post updates on my Feeding My Tribe Facebook page, so you might want to check that out for real-time updates.  🙂

I have spent a lot of time at the doctor’s during the last two weeks and our pediatrician actually has some pretty good magazines in his waiting room.  So, while waiting for Julia to see the doctor last week, I was leafing through the latest Bon Appetit magazine.  I came across a recipe for Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas and Apricots that looked good and snapped a picture with my phone in case the recipe wasn’t on their website.  But, luckily, it was.

I have made a couple of other tagine recipes in the past and not been impressed at all.  But, I thought I would give it one last try and I am glad I did.  This turned out delicious.  And, I didn’t even use lamb, but substituted a beef tri-tip roast instead, as there were not lots of good lamb options at our local Oklahoma grocery store. 

The first thing you do is mix up the Ras-el-Hanout spice blend, which means “head of the shop” indicating it includes the best spices.  I went ahead and doubled the recipe so I would have it mixed up for next time.  It is apparently a good rub for grilled meats as well.  I also used all pre-ground spices to simplify things, but if you want to grind your own, all the better.

Ras-el-Hanout spice blend
Based on recipe from Bon Appetit

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  1. Mix all the spices together in bowl.  Makes just under 2 Tablespoons.
Again, I used beef for this dish, instead of lamb. If you have access to good lamb, then use 2-3 pounds of lamb shoulder cut into 3/4″ cubes instead of the beef.  If you don’t want to soak dried chickpeas overnight, then you can substitute one 15-oz can of chickpeas (garbanzos) and just heat it in a small pot for about 10 minutes with the cinnamon and garlic.
Beef Tagine with Chickpeas and Apricots
Based on recipe from Bon Appetit
  • 3/4 cup dried chickpeas
  • 5 garlic cloves (2 crushed, 3 chopped)
  • 1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2-3 pounds beef roast cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 teaspoons Ras-el-Hanout spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes with juices (I used the fire-roasted ones)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • Steamed whole wheat couscous (I made mine with chicken broth)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Chickpeas and beef cooking

  1. Place dried chickpeas in a medium saucepan. Add water to cover by 2″. Let soak overnight.
  2. Drain chickpeas; return to same saucepan. Add 2 crushed garlic cloves and cinnamon stick. Add water to cover by 2″. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until chickpeas are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain, remove cinnamon and garlic, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown lamb on all sides, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer lamb to a separate bowl.
  4. Add onion to pot; reduce heat to medium, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until soft and beginning to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Add chopped garlic, Ras-el-Hanout, and ginger. Stir for 1 minute.
  5. Add tomatoes and lamb with any accumulated juices. Bring to a boil. Add 2 1/2 cups stock. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
  6. Stir in chickpeas and apricots; simmer until heated through, about 10-15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve over prepared whole wheat couscous. Sprinkle optional cilantro over.

After we found the recipe in the magazine at the pediatrician’s, Julia and I headed to the store to get her prescription and the get the ingredients, so here is a picture of her with the finished dish.  All the girls loved this and so did Mike and me.

Julia with her Tagine and Couscous


About feedingmytribe

Mom to four 10-year-olds. Trying to find my way through the confusing world of food and nutrition to provide my girls with a healthy start in life.

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