1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp blanched almonds
1 large red onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A thumb-size piece of ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
A pinch of saffron threads
2 cinnamon sticks
1-2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 lb boneless leg of lamb, or boneless lamb shanks, cubed
12 pitted prunes, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, drained
6 dried apricots, soaked in hot water for 1 hour, drained
3-4 strips orange peel
1-2 Tbsp agave nectar or dark honey
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Handful of flat-leaf parsley or cilantro leaves, for garnish
Heat the oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven, stir in the almonds, and cook until they turn golden. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until they begin to color (do not burn the garlic). Stir in the ginger, saffron, cinnamon sticks and coriander seeds. Add the lamb, making sure it is coated in the onion and spices, and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
If you are using a frying pan, transfer everything to the base of a ceramic tagine.
Pour in enough water to just cover the meat, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to lowest simmer, cover the tagine or Dutch oven, and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Add the prunes, apricots and orange peel, cover the tagine again, and simmer 15-20 minutes. Stir in the agave or honey, salt and pepper, cover, and continue to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce turns syrupy and slightly caramelized, but not dry. Stir in the parsley or cilantro, and serve with couscous or bread.