Fruity lamb tagine
I got given a lovely tagine for Christmas, which up until last night had been living unhappily in my kitchen cupboard, longing to be used and loved. Seeing as it was Sunday and I had a wee bit of extra time, I decided to give the tagine its debut and cook up a delicious fruity lamb stew (or tagine) in it. This dish is really easy to throw together but does require a bit of prep time – the lamb needs to marinade in the spice mix for a couple of hours then cooking itself takes about 2 and a half hours. It’s worth every minute though, the end result really is devine and despite having a lot of meat in it, is actually very summery and light. It was so yummy in fact that both me and the boyfriend ended up polishing off seconds, whoops!
1kg diced lamb shoulder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron stamens
750ml chicken or lamb stock
2 x tins chopped tomatoes
150g dried apricots
handful of coriander leaves, chopped
small handful of mint leaves, chopped
Combine all of the dry spices in a large mixing bowl with the cubed lamb. Mix well, cover with cling film and leave to marinade in the fridge for 2 -3 hours (or overnight if you’re uber organised).
Once the meat is marinated and you are ready to make your tagine, preheat your oven to 160˚C. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat in batches. Transfer the browned meat to your tagine dish (a large saucepan or casserole dish with a tight fitting lid would work just as well).
Once the meat is done, start on the sauce – fry the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes until the onions have softened. Add in the sultanas, dried apricots, saffron and honey and stir well, cooking for another minute. Now add in the tinned tomatoes and stock. Stir everything together then transfer the sauce to the tagine. Make sure everything is mixed really well before popping the lid on and placing in the oven. The tagine should take around 2 – 2 1/2 hours depending on the cut of lamb you have used, just keeping checking the lamb for tenderness every now and then.
Just before serving, check for seasoning adding salt and pepper if needed and stir in the chopped herbs. I served my tagine over some fluffy couscous which mopped up all of the juices.