Real Food LUNCH BOX: Lamb Tagine

Lunch Box Lamb Tagine with side Quinoa, grapes

Lunch Box Lamb Tagine with side Quinoa, grapes

Don’t be afraid. Lamb Tagine sounds weird. And sounds scary. But it is a wonderful way to introduce kids to lamb. It’s sweet, a bit spicy, and YUMMY. And it works wonders in a lunch box.

I recently interviewed Vicki Lass on a Lunchbox Kitchen episode, featuring: EGGS. She and her husband, Max, own Churchhill Farms. The reason I wanted Vicki there was because I knew the more I heard about their farming practices the more excited I’d get. And boy was I RIGHT.

Vicki Lass of Churchhill Farms

Vicki Lass of Churchhill Farms

Lass Family: “Our family farm has been providing the highest quality, humanely raised pork, lamb, beef and fowl to the most discerning restaurants and home chefs in kitchener/waterloo and perth county for over 7 years”

They raise hardy-heritage breeds, let their hens and turkey’s roost in trees and they just do it right. Their LAMB and SHEEP are lovely, docile, HAIR sheep – that don’t require shearing. Amazing. She still packs her kids lunches (ages 15 & 18), which I will likely do…ha ha. She cooks a large roast every Sunday for the week’s lunches. She bakes with natural sugars, LENTILS, and alternating grains. And I am officially moving to her house 🙂

Kid-Friendly Lamb Tagine - using grass-fed lamb

Kid-Friendly Lamb Tagine – using grass-fed lamb

The reason I tell you this…their grass-feed lamb is beautiful. I don’t always use THEIR lamb, but I am very careful about where I source meat for my family. Have i broken down and bought chicken at the grocery store? Well…yes…when i run out of my good guys in the freezer. But the point is I try my best. And my kids LOVE grass-fed meat, because that’s really what they’re use to. ESPECIALLY when it comes to lamb.

Explore your area – the farms surrounding where you live. Talk to the farmers. Get to know vendors at the Farmer’s Markets. Have conversations with your children about using the entire animal. Because it’s important!!

Lamb Tagine served on Quinoa (instead of cous cous)

Lamb Tagine served on Quinoa (instead of cous cous)

This isn’t really my recipe. It’s Larry’s. We don’t always see eye-to-eye in the kitchen – but this Lamb Tagine is a true winner. In a lunch box. And out. Thanks honey!!

Lunch Box Lamb Tagine

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds grass-fed lamb shoulder, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp ginger
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • juice 2 oranges
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 can) tomato paste
  • 1 L bone stock
  • 1 can Eden-brand chickpeas (or 2 cups)
  • 20 unsulphured apricots
  • peel of 1 orange
  • fresh mint and fresh cilantro
  • harissa paste or powder (to taste – depending on spice tolerance)

Season lamb chunks generously with salt and pepper. Heat a bit of coconut oil in a heavy pot over high heat. Add paprika, garlic, ginger and lamb and brown the pieces. Remove lamb and let drain on a rimmed cookie sheet. Add onions and carrots, and cook over medium heat, scraping up all the nice brown bits. Add a bit of the fresh orange juice to prevent sticking. Throw in sweet potato and lamb with its drained juices. Reduce the juices a bit before adding tomato paste and bone stock. Simmer 35 – 45 minutes. Add chickpeas, apricots, orange peel, and simmer another 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and balance. Add fresh herbs at the end.

Lunch Box Lamb Tagine is a HUGE HIT with with kids AND grown-ups

Lunch Box Lamb Tagine is a HUGE HIT with with kids AND grown-ups

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