EnerSmart Magazine

Recipes - Entrees/Side Dishes

El Gastro Lamb Tagine with Fruited Couscous

El Gastro Lamb Tagine with Fruited Couscous Photo

Serves: 6 - 8


  • 1 large leg of lamb (or 2 small legs), deboned, cut into 100 g pieces
  • 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 12 tbsp ras el hanout (available at Middle Eastern grocers)
  • 2 litres water, more if needed
  • 1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 small tin harissa (available at Middle Eastern grocers)
  • Honey, to taste
  • Marinated green olives, in oil, pips in Preserved lemon
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1 cup mint
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fruited couscous


  1. Fry onions, garlic, celery and carrots in a large pot until lightly browned. Add tomato paste and fry off.
  2. Add ras el hanout and lightly toast until aromatic.
  3. Fill pot with 2 litres of water (add more if needed). Add whole peeled tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  4. Once boiling, add lamb pieces and return to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook until meat is tender.
  5. Carefully remove meat from stock and place on a tray to cool.
  6. Reduce liquid by half and strain into a smaller pot through a fine strainer.
  7. Continue to reduce liquid until thickened slightly.
  8. To taste, add honey and harissa to reduced liquid. Liquid should have an even balance of sweetness, heat and earthiness.
  9. Return meat to pot and add roughly 4 olives per person. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve in traditional tagine, garnished with fresh parsley, cilantro, mint and preserved lemon. Dress lightly with olive oil. Serve fruited couscous on the side.

Preserved Lemon


  • 4 lemons
  • 1 tbsp sea salt


  1. Peel lemons and reserve peel.
  2. Finely julienne lemon peel segments and place in container. Squeeze juice from peeled lemons over peel slices.
  3. Add salt and mix to combine. Leave overnight for best results.

Fruited Couscous


  • 750 g dry couscous (not instant)
  • 2 x 300 mL cold water
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Cheesecloth, cut into squares large enough to overhang steamer baskets
  • 4 dried figs, thinly sliced
  • 4 dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup black currants


  1. Fill basin of metal Chinese steamer with water, and bring to a boil on the stovetop.
  2. In a stainless steel bowl, add couscous and 300 mL cold water. With hands, gently and thoroughly combine, breaking up any lumps.
  3. With carving fork, work couscous for 10 minutes.
  4. Add remaining cold water and repeat process.
  5. Soak cheesecloth in cold water and line steamer baskets with cheesecloth so cloth overhangs steamer baskets.
  6. Fill lined steamer baskets with couscous, cover and steam for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove couscous from steamer and place in stainless steel bowl.
  8. Add butter to couscous and fold through with carving fork and hands to break up lumps.
  9. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add fruit and mix through to combine.
Direct Energy Union Gas Napoleon Heating & Cooling Dettson

EnerSmart™ magazine is published by Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy Company, and has 600,000 copies distributed through newspapers in southern, northern, western and eastern Ontario. Advertising rates and distribution information for the EnerSmart™ magazine are available upon request from Union Gas. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission of Union Gas. All rights are reserved. Opinions and comments reflect those of the writer and not necessarily those of Union Gas. ™ EnerSmart is a trade-mark of Union Gas Limited.