Make this winning lentil tagine recipe for  your next tailgate party. The unique flavors are sure to score a touchdown with your guests!

This recipe warms the soul with its use of winter fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. Make the day ahead of your tailgate party and put in a crock pot to keep warm all day.

Tagine dishes originate from North Africa and are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Common spices include cinnamon, cumin, ginger, saffron, and turmeric. This version features hearty lentils, slow- simmered, with aromatic spices and winter fruits and vegetables.

Lentil Tagine

3 onions, large dice
3 large butter nut squash, large dice
4 granny smith apples, large dice with the skins
1 bunch of fresh thyme, picked
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, picked and chopped
1 cup of golden raisins
1 bay leaf
4 tablespoons cumin
4 tablespoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon piment d’ espelette
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 cup olive oil
3 cups French green lentils
4 quarts of stock, either chicken or vegetable (water may be used but salt and pepper seasoning will need to be adjusted)
Season to taste with salt and pepper
In a large soup pot or braising pan sweat 3 onions in the oil until the onions are translucent. Add the diced butternut squash, increase the heat a little and allow to brown, stirring to brown all sides. When the butternut squash has browned turned down the heat. Add the apples and herbs and cook for 5 minutes. Add all the spices and stir to incorporate completely. Add the lentils and stir to mix completely.

Add stock, bring to a simmer.  Simmer for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Transfer to the crock pot container and keep warm for your tailgating pleasure.

Perfectly pairs with the forty-first annual Christmas Ale from Anchor Brewing.

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