Lamb Tagine with Sweet Potatoes, Cinnamon & Preserved Lemons

(Serves 6)

2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder or leg
1 tsp Maldon sea salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp each: ground cinnamon, cumin and coriander
2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
2 cups chicken stock
2 large shallots, peeled and quartered
1/3 cup whole roasted almonds
16 pitted prunes
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemons
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
¼ cup chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Trim the lamb of fat and cut the meat into 3 inch large chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole pan or tagine (earthenware pot) over medium heat on the stovetop. Sear the lamb in two batches, turning over until well browned, about 5 – 7 minutes. Return all lamb to the pot and sprinkle the spices over top, turning to coat evenly. Add the cinnamon sticks and stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with the lid and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until the lamb is very tender. Add the shallots, almonds, prunes and preserved lemons, stirring to combine. Place the sweet potatoes on top of the lamb. Put the lid back on the casserole and bake for another half hour. Remove lid and bake for half an hour more or until sweet potatoes are beginning to caramelize. Serve with fresh mint.


Leg of Lamb in Tangerine Sauce

1 – 6 – 9 lb. leg of lamb bone in OR 1 – 5 – 7 lb boneless, rolled and tied
2 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
vegetable oil

1 tsp. each of rosemary, salt, and pepper
1 1/2 cp. Of tangerine juice
1/2 cp. Grand Marnier
1/2 cp. apricot jam
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp dried mint
1/4 tsp ground ginger (optional)
Heat oven to 325 F

In a shallow roasting pan, place lamb, fat side up. With a sharp knife, cut slits in lamb. Insert garlic slivers in slits. Roast lamb at 325 F for 20 – 25 minutes per pound when using a bone in leg (25 – 30 minutes, if using a boneless leg), or until meat thermometer placed in thickest part of meat reaches 140 F for rare or 150 F to 155 F for medium. Allow lamb to stand in a warm place for 15 – 20 minutes before carving. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, stirring constantly, until thickened. Serve with leg of lamb.
Makes 8 servings.


Spicy Lamb Stew

Here’s a flavourful spiced lamb stew the whole family will enjoy. Serve this lamb stew with hot cooked rice, grits, or couscous.

1 1/ 2 to 2 punds boneless lamb shoulder or stewing lamb
salt and pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and ground ginger and salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
dash coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium carrot, diced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1 can chicken broth
juice of 1/2 lemon

Trim fat from lamb; cut into bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then toss with the flour. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the floured lamb pieces and the chopped onion; cook until lamb is browned on all sides, stirring frequently. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 1 hour, until lamb is tender. Serve over hot cooked rice, grits or polenta, or cous cous, or serve with hot buttered noodles or potatoes. Serves 4.


Irish Lamb Stew

Prep Time: 20 Min
Cook Time: 2 Hrs 25 Min
Ready In: 2 Hrs 45 Min
(Serves 6)

1 1/2 pounds thickly sliced bacon, diced
6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup water
4 cups beef stock
2 teaspoons white sugar
4 cups diced carrots
2 large onions, cut into bite-size pieces
3 potatoes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
Put lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat.
Place meat into stock pot (leave 1/4 cup of fat in frying pan). Add the garlic and yellow onion and saute till onion begins to become golden. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the stock pot with bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
Add carrots, onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and wine to pot. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.


Classic Rack of Lamb Recipe

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 15 minutes
The cooking time depends on how big your rack of lamb is, and how rare you want it cooked. Rack of lamb should be cooked rare, or at most medium rare. The instructions are for a rack 1 1/2 to 2 pounds big. If you have a smaller roast (I’ve seen packages of just a pound), reduce the cooking time from 7 minutes to 5 minutes on 400, and use the lower end of the cooking time given at 300. If you are cooking multiple racks (unless you are doing a crown roast which is a different matter), lay them out separately on the pan, and estimate a roasting time based on just one rack, not the weight of the combined. Of course, use a meat thermometer! This is too lovely and tender a roast to risk overcooking.

• 1 or more Frenched* lamb rib racks with 7 to 8 ribs each (1 1/2 to 2 pounds for each rack, figure each rack feeds 2-3 people)

For each rib rack:
• 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Salt
• Pepper
• 2 Tbsp olive oil

*Typically you will buy a rack of lamb already “Frenched”, or cut so that the rib bones are exposed. You can also ask your butcher to french them for you. For directions on how to French them yourself, see How to French a Rack of Lamb

1. Rub rib rack(s) all over with mixture of rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Place in a thick plastic bag with olive oil. Spread oil around so that it coats the lamb rack(s) all over. Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal. Place in a container so that if the bag leaks, the container catches the leak. If you want, place in the refrigerator overnight. Or, if you are not marinating overnight, let lamb rack(s) sit in the rub marinade as it comes to room temperature before cooking.

2. Remove lamb rack from refrigerator to 1-2 hours before you cook it so that it comes to room temp. (If the meat is not at room temperature it will be hard for it to cook evenly.)

3. Preheat oven to 400°F, arrange the oven rack so that the lamb will be in the middle of the oven. Score the fat, by making sharp shallow cuts through the fat, spaced about an inch apart. Sprinkle the rack all over with salt and pepper. Place the lamb rack bone side down (fat side up) on the pan. Wrap the exposed ribs in a little foil so that they don’t burn.

4. Roast at 400°F for 7 minutes, then lower the heat to 300°F. Cook for 7-15 minutes longer (depending on the size of the lamb rack, or one of the lamb racks if you are cooking more than one), until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat 125°F on a for rare or 135°F for medium rare. Remove from oven, cover with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

Cut lamb chops away from the rack by slicing between the bones. Serve 2-3 chops per person.


Cinnamon Stick Moroccan Lamb

Yield: 19 to 12 – 2 inch meatballs

1 lb ground lamb
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
4 tsp spice mix (see below)
2 Tbsp finely diced dried apricot
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint
1 egg
1 Tbsp grainy mustard
10 – 12 cinnamon sticks

Spice Mix
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp crushed cloves
1/2 tsp cinnammon
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp crushed chilis (dried)

In a mixing bowl, season lamb with garlic and dry herbs and mix well. Mix in apricots, mint, egg and mustard. Form a 3 Tbsp size portion of mixture into a meatball. Insert a cinnamon stick and squeeze the meatball to adhere to the stick. Continue with remaining meat mixture and cinnamon sticks. Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes or until cooked thoroughly. Serve with tzatziki or mango chutney.

Tzatziki (herbed yogurt and cucumber)
2 cups plain yogurt
1 english cucumber, shredded or diced
3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint
pinch salt

Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for several hours before serving.


For more recipes – check out Alberta Lamb Producers website