Lamb braise

· 12 servings

Lamb is one of favorite meats, and a braise is great way to highlight its rich flavor and buttery texture. The spice mix in this recipe is inspired by Moroccan flavors, but you can easily adjust it to other spice profiles.

This is an incredibly easy recipe, but it does require some planning. You should marinate the lamb for at least 12 hours (up to 48 hours), and it will need to cook in the oven for 3 to 4 hours.

For this recipe you will need a 4-6 quart dutch oven. I recommend an enameled Le Creuset or Lodge dutch oven — one of the most versatile and long-lasting pieces of cookware you can own.

Lamb braise



  • 3lb boneless lamb leg or lamb shoulder
  • 2 onions (any kind), sliced 1/4” wide
  • 1/2 cup of dates, pitted, chopped in half
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots (or golden raisins, or more dates)
  • 2 cups water


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 12 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 12 tbsp spice mix, such as ras el hanout, shawarma seasoning, or make your own. This is very customizable, here’s a mix you could make, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t have one of the spices, just supplement with another.
    • 2 tbsp cumin, 2 tbsp coriander, 2 tbsp turmeric, 2 tbsp black pepper, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp allspice, 2 tsp sumac, 1 tsp cardamom, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp clove


  1. Thoroughly trim fat and silver skin from the exterior of the lamb. The goal is to braise the lamb mostly in water and not grease. If you leave all the fat on, you won’t be able to eat the onions/dates/apricots because they will be too greasy. Removing the silver skin is also important to make the meat less chewy/gristly when you eat.
  2. Combine all the marinade ingredients — you can do this in a blender or bowl. If you do it in a bowl mince the ginger and garlic finely.
  3. Place the lamb in a bowl or zip-top bag, then add the marinade and thoroughly massage it into every side of the lamb.
  4. Marinade for 12 to 48 hours in the fridge.
  5. Pre-heat oven at 325F.
  6. Place the sliced onions in the dutch oven, followed by the dates, apricots, and 2 cups of water. Place the lamb on top.
  7. Put the lid on the dutch oven and place in the oven for 2 hours. You can check on it every 45-60 minutes and rotate the pieces of lamb and onions to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
  8. Remove the lid and continue to braise in the oven for 1.5-2 hours, until the lamb is very tender and falling apart. If it looks dry at any point, you can add another cup of water.
  9. Garnish with chopped mint or cilantro.

Serve with your choice — couscous, rice, pita, veggies, etc.