Lamb Tagine with Apricots and Honey

Fresh apricots and honey is a great combination for a luscious summer tagine. Try different combinations, with or without honey and with or without the complexity of spices.

Serves 6 people

1.3 kg (2 ½ lbs) lamb shoulder or leg, cut into 3cm (1 ½”) chunks
1 kg (2 lbs) fresh stoned apricots
1 medium onion, grated
½ medium onion, grated
4 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 scant teaspoon
pinch of pulverised saffron
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a 5-quart deep casserole. Mix in the oil, saffron, salt, pepper, ginger, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, onion and the lamb chunks. Sauté gently until the pieces of lamb are browned. Add water to cover the mixture. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 hour, turning the meat often and adding water whenever necessary.

While the lamb is cooking, soak the apricots in cold water. When the lamb is tender, add the finely sliced onion and cook for a further 30 minutes. Drain the apricots and add them to the meat. Stir in the honey, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and simmer uncovered until the sauce has reduced and the apricots are tender and ready.

To serve, arrange the meat on the serving dish, pour the sauce over and decorate with the apricots. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.