Casablanca sunset

Transform the sweet, sticky, fruity, Moroccan lamb tagine into crunchy, couscous-coated bite-size snacks

Recipe by Leila Saffarian
Photography by Dylan Swart

Casablanca sunset

Serves: 8 – 10
Cooking Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • Tagine

  • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive or avocado oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 500g lamb shoulder, cubed
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground coriander
  • 2,5ml (½ tsp) dried red chilli flakes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Maldon Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 60ml (¼ cup) honey
  • 100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 100g prunes, pips removed and chopped
  • 500ml (2 cups) good quality lamb stock
  • Couscous

  • 640g (4 cups) cooked couscous
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 100g Parmesan, grated
  • oil, for drizzling
  • Topping

  • 30ml oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g flaked almonds
  • 100g (½ cup) suga

Instructions

1

For the tagine, heat the oil in a large tagine or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and fry until golden.

2

Add the lamb and brown slightly, followed by the ground cinnamon, cumin, coriander, chilli flakes and cinnamon stick. Season well.

3

Add the honey, apricots, prunes and lamb stock. Adjust seasoning, bring to a boil, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer until the lamb is tender and the sauce reduced and sticky, 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes.

4

Remove from heat. When cool, shred the meat and combine with the sauce. Set aside until completely cold.

5

Combine the couscous, egg and Parmesan in a large bowl, and season well.

6

Take 15ml (1 tbsp) of couscous in your hand, fill with 5 – 10ml (1 – 2 tsp) meat, top with another 15ml (1 tbsp) couscous and roll into balls.

7

Continue with the remaining couscous and filling. Place the balls in the fridge for 15 minutes.

8

Place the balls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with oil and bake in a preheated 180°C oven until golden and crisp, about 25 minutes.

9

Prepare the topping just before serving: heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion, flaked almonds and sugar. Cook over low heat until sweet and sticky, and drizzle over the tagine bites. Serve immediately.

Notes

Keep a bowl of water nearby to prevent sticky hands while rolling the tagine bites.

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