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Lamb Tagine with Honey, Prunes, Onions & Toasted Almonds

Mark Thomas

Servings: six.

I like to serve this tagine with couscous or chunks of warm, crusty bread.


  • 16 pearl onions
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil  
  • 2 lb. lamb stew meat cut into 1-inch cubes, or 1/2 leg of lamb cut into 1-inch cubes, bone reserved
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 10 threads Spanish saffron  
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt canned beef stock or water
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1/8 tsp. ground mace
  • 1 cup (about 24) pitted prunes
  • 20 sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup whole almonds, toasted

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 480
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 160
  • Fat (g): 18
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 125
  • Sodium (mg): 480
  • Carbohydrates (g): 41
  • Fiber (g): 4
  • Protein (g): 41


  • Heat the oven to 375°F. In a small saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch the pearl onions for 1 minute. Drain and let cool. Peel the onions and set aside.
  • In a medium Dutch oven or ovenproof heavy-based pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches on all sides. Transfer the meat to a platter. Add the diced onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, grind the saffron in a mortar and pestle (or rub it between your fingers) and add it to the beef stock. Return the meat to the pot. Stir the saffron mixture into the pot with the lamb, along with any bones. Stir in the honey, turmeric, cinnamon, mace, and prunes. Add the cilantro. Cover the pot tightly with foil and then with a lid. Put the pot in the oven and bake until the lamb is tender, about 50 minutes. Add the pearl onions, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small nonstick frying pan, toast the almonds until golden. Set aside.
  • Remove the foil and lid. Carefully spoon off any grease. Add the salt and pepper. Return the pot, uncovered, to the oven, and let the sauce reduce slightly, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the tagine with the toasted almonds. Serve on rimmed plates or in shallow bowls.


Rate or Review

Reviews (6 reviews)

  • LoufromTampa | 07/11/2015

    excellent flavor and yummy sauce...

  • gheller | 01/13/2011

    We made this last winter for a ski weekend and it received rave reviews. The flavours are wonderful and we're making it again this weekend. Can't wait to try it again.

  • doublesea | 02/07/2010

    I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious! I did, however, substitute the beef broth with chicken stock. I used the "bite size" prunes (24) and it turned out to be one cup, which were perfect. I ended up using lamb shoulder steaks, which I cut into the 1 inch pieces myself. This also gave me several bones to use for the cooking process. This dish is sweet and savory, perfect for a chilly evening. I recommend everyone trying this very different and delicious recipe.

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