Lamb and Bean Tagine

This is a low and slow cook that brings together the rich flavors of lamb, spices, and the creamy texture of buttery beans and melting vegetables.

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2-4 lamb shanks depending on size, seasoned liberally with salt
1/2 tsp harissa
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1/2 tsp coriander
4 cloves garlic, smashed
5 sprigs thyme
2 onion, sliced thinly
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 rutabaga or turnip, peeled and cut into chunks
2 cups beans (cannellini, cranberry, mayocoba or orca) soaked over night and rinsed
6 dried apricots or prunes, roughly chopped


  1. Heat oven to 300F
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat a glug of neutral oil over medium high heat and sear the lamb on all sides
  3. Remove the lamb from the pot and reduce the heat to medium low
  4. Add the spices and fry in the lamb fat until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  5. Add the onions, garlic, thyme, and tomato paste and sweat until soft
  6. Add the vegetables, beans, dried fruit, and shanks back to the pot
  7. Top the pot with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover tightly and place in the oven to slow cook
  8. Check the dish after 1 hour adding more liquid if needed to keep a bit of sauce in the pot. Continue checking throughout the cook
  9. Remove from the oven when the lamb is fork tender, usually about 2-3 hours total cooking time
  10. If there is still a good deal of liquid in the pot, return to the burner and simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced to a silky sauce
  11. Serve with a bitter green salad or sliced raw cabbage tossed with lemon and olive oil