Lamb tagine with black garlic








Black garlic is a real discovery for me. The cloves are slowly cooked or baked for ages until they have transformed into fudge-like black (garlic) truffels with just a faint hint of garlic (and no smell afterwards for those how might wonder). These mellow nuggets add an incredible depth of flavour to any dish and I am quite prepared to say that they are quintessential umami – albeit inflationary overuse of the term. If the gorgeous organic Spanish black garlic cloves (I am getting them at the Frankfurt Kleinmarkthalle) weren’t on the dear side, I’d eat them like bonbons. But, you’d better get some soon: the run might have already started since they feature as well in a few recipes in Ottolenghi’s new cookbook.









German recipe at the end of the post / Die deutsche Übersetzung des Rezeptes befindet sich am Ende des Beitrags.

I have raved before how inspiring Sabrina Ghayour’s recipes are (the Citrus-spiced salmon is a must) and here’s definitely the place to repeat that praise. The lamb tagine with black garlic & tomatoes is such a warming and flavourful dish that really envelops you in comforting hug on the first cold days of autumn but bears a whisper of the warmer Mediterranean climate. I love her use of lamb shanks – an inexpensive cut of meat, that imparts a great flavour into the sauce – but for us cubed lamb shoulder makes a nice (big) batch of a more stew-like tagine where we could freeze the second half for a rainy day. Especially those busy days when time is of the essence, fuses are mightily short (just me? HANGRY!) and a hearty lamb tagine could be the comforting cure. So, to weigh in on the current discussion: this one is definitely one of those dinners that busy people (and parents) can pre-cook on a weekend and freeze for a weekday to come.

Add some couscous, flat bread or try the (extremely delicious) pairing with a garlic & coriander naan and of course, vegetables of your choice. For some vegetable ideas, might want to check out my upcoming posts for a vegetable side (leeks!) or main courses (chard & chickpeas).


Another great tagine recipe: Chicken tagine with preserved lemons & green olives and what about these for a start: Cauliflower fritters with spicy carrot salad & lime sauce, Burnt aubergine & tahini dip or Ottolenghi’s Baby spinach salad with dates, almonds & crispy flatbread?

lamb tagine with black garlic

Lamb tagine with black garlic

Serves 6-8, adapted from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana who uses delicious lamb shanks in her recipe. This version here makes a lovely stew from lamb shoulder or leg (feel free to increase the meat content for more diners) with plenty of the delicious sauce – mop it up with bread.


700-800g (28oz or a little under 2lbs.) lamb leg or shoulder, cut into 2,5cm (1 inch) cubes
Olive oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
salt & black pepper
2 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
2 small sprigs of thyme
2 small tins (400g or 14oz each) of chopped tomatoes
1 punnet cocktail tomatoes (or 1 small tin peeled cocktail tomatoes)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1 small container with black garlic cloves, 60g or 2.1oz (about 15-20 cloves or 2 heads black garlic, cloves peeled)


Cut the lamb into cubes and pat them dry on all sides using paper towels. In a large braising pan or Dutch oven over a medium flame, heat the oil and lightly fry the onions for a few minutes until translucent. Add cumin, turmeric & cinnamon, stir to combine and follow with the lamb pieces, stir and quickly brown them on all sides. Season well and add bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes (if using tinned/canned cocktail tomatoes, add those together with the black garlic at the end, otherwise they turn to mush), vinegar & molasses and top up with water to just cover the meat. Bring to a quick boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer (medium-low) and cover with a lid. Cook for 1½-2 hours, stirring from time to time. Finally add the black garlic cloves (+ tin of cocktail tomatoes), check the sauce if it needs a little water or not and continue to cook the sauce for another ½-1 hour without the lid.

Cooking times: depend on the size of your lamb cubes, I’d go for 1½ hours first and an additional ½ -1 hour after. Mine was done then, though another ½ hour is easily added instead of regretting having cooked the meat to a mush.



lamb tagine with black garlic

Lamm tagine mit schwarzem Knoblauch

Für 6-8 Personen. Adaptiert von Sabrina Ghayours Persiana, deren Rezept Lammhachsen vorsieht, ich habe Lammfleisch aus der Schulter oder Keule in grobe Würfel geschnitten (für mehr Personen man kann getrost die Fleischmenge erhöhen, es ist genug Sauce vorgesehen) und in der schmackhaften Sauce geschmort – am besten schon mal Fladenbrot, Baguette oder auch ein leckeres Naan bereithalten um diese damit aufzustippen. Auch lecker mit großkörnigem Couscous und Gemüse nach Wahl. In den nächsten posts kommen ein paar schöne Gemüsegerichte, die sich auch hervorragend als Beilage hierzu eignen!


700-800g Lammgulasch aus der Keule oder der Schulter, ca. 2,5cm große Würfel
2 große Zwiebeln, grob gehackt
3 TL gemahlener Kreuzkümmel
2 TL Kurkuma
1 TL gemahlener Zimt
Salz & schwarzer Pfeffer
2 Lorbeerblätter
2 kleine Zweige Thymian
2 kleine Dosen (à 400g) gehackte Tomaten
1 kleines Körbchen Cocktailtomaten (oder 1 kleine Dose geschälte Cocktailtomaten)
3 EL Aceto balsamico
1 EL Granatapfelsirup (Granatapfelmolasse)
1 kleine Dose schwarzer Knoblauch, 60g (ca. 15-20 Zehen oder 2 Knollen schwarzer Knoblauch, Zehen geschält)


Das Lamm in Würfel schneiden und auf allen Seiten mit Küchenpapier trocken tupfen. Etwas Öl in einer großen Schmorpfanne oder einem gusseisernen Topf über mittlerer Flamme erhitzen und die Zwiebeln für einige Minuten anbraten, dann Kreuzkümmel, Kurkuma & Zimt hinzugeben und umrühren, schließlich die Lammstücke hineingeben und auf allen Seiten anbräunen. Nochmals umrühren und gut würzen. Lorbeer, Thymian, Tomaten (falls Cocktailtomaten aus der Dose statt frischer verwendet werden, dann diese erst zusammen mit dem schwarzen Knoblauch zugeben, sonst werden diese zu Brei verkocht), Balsamessig und Granatapfelsirup hinzufügen und das ganze mit Wasser aufgießen bis das Fleisch gerade bedeckt ist. Kurz zum Kochen bringen, dann die Hitze herunterschalten, Deckel darauflegen und bei kleiner bis mittlerer Flamme 1½-2 Stunden leise köcheln lassen. Von Zeit zu Zeit umrühren, damit nichts am Boden anhaftet. Zum Schluß den schwarzen Knoblauch hinzugeben (sowie die Cocktailtomaten aus der Dose, falls verwendet), falls die Sauce zu sehr eingekocht ist diese mit etwas Wasser aufgießen und das ganze ohne Deckel eine weiter ½ – 1 Stunde köcheln lassen.


Kochzeiten: hängen größtenteils von dem Lammfleisch und der Größe der Würfel ab. Ich koche das ganze zunächst für 1½ Stunden und entscheide dann, ob dann im zweiten Schritt eine ½ oder 1 Stunde ausreicht. Eine weitere halbe Stunde ist besser angehängt, als dass das Fleisch zu Brei zerkocht wird.







9 thoughts on “Lamb tagine with black garlic

  1. Ohh I love that you use pomegranate molasses! What wonderful flavors you have in here. I’ll have to try it with black garlic. Let’s trade! This seriously looks so good!

    • Hi Amanda,
      pomegranate molasses, yeah, me, too. I just had to substitute some for part of the balsamic vinegar, I think the taste works so well with lamb. Ok, let’s not trade, let’s have both together. Your place or ours? And when?

    • Hi Linda,
      thank you & I can return the compliment right back. It is always a joy to read your posts & recipes and wish you a great weekend, too – looking forward to read about it. I have made a huge batch of cookies to give away although I might have eaten quite a few already… Ups.
      N xx

  2. I keep seeing black garlic at the market and not knowing much about it haven’t been inspired to pick some up. Now I will! I just saw Linda’s lamb tagine and now after seeing your’s I’m very inspired to make one. I absolutely love the ingredients in this. This’ll be on the menu this week for sure, although with the cooking time looks like I’ll need some a few hours at home. Nice to see your blog tonight.

    • Hi Seana,
      nice to hear from you! Uh, yes, I loved everything about this tagine and especially the sauce, that’s why I made lots. Cooking time seems long but it is mostly no hands on – lots of time to do other things. Love to hear, how it turned out. Check out the leeks as a great (and fast) side.
      N xx

  3. This looks incredible!! I adore tagines and all Middle Eastern food, I can’t wait to try your recipe with black garlic. I have seen it in my local supermarket but all I’ve done so far is eye it quizzically. Thanks for giving an amazing example of how to use it x

    • Hi Laura,

      thank you, that’s so nice of you. About the quizzical looks: Same here, I was always wondering what to use it in & for – but once tried, I was hooked (re: could eat them like bonbons). N xx

      PS Finally got some cocoa nibs.

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