Tagine of lamb
( SERVES 4 )
This dish is seriously good. Imagine meltingly soft meat, full of fragrant aromatic spices and dried fruits. Tagine pots can either be expensive or cheap. I own two: one cost $18, the other $90. Both work equally well, with no difference in the eventual taste, and both look great on the dining table. The tagine's conical-shaped lid allows the steam to rise to the top, then condense and drip back into the stew, keeping it moist with no loss of flavour. Serve with couscous or mashed potatoes.
|1 tsp||Freshly ground black pepper|
|1½ Tbsp||Sweet paprika|
|1 tsp||Ground cumin|
|1 tsp||Ground coriander|
|1½ Tbsp||Ground ginger|
|2 Tbsp||Ground cinnamon|
|1||Boned lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm pieces|
|2 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1 large||Onion, sliced finely|
|2||Garlic cloves, crushed|
|500 ml||Tomato juice|
|400 g||Chopped tomatoes|
|120 g||Dried apricots, chopped|
|½ cup||Almond flakes|
|1 tsp||Saffron threads|
|600 ml||Chicken stock|
|2 Tbsp||Fresh parsley|
- Combine all the spices in a bowl. Divide the spice mixture in half and toss the lamb pieces (5cm pieces) in half of it. Cover and marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- When ready to cook the tagine, preheat the oven to 150C.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a tagine or deep casserole dish and add the onion (sliced finely), cooking until it has softened. Add the remaining spice mix and cook until fragrant, then add the crushed garlic.
- In a separate frying pan heat the remaining oil and sauté the lamb pieces, browning on all sides. Add the lamb to the tagine.
- Pour 1 cup of tomato juice into the pan that held the lamb, and bring to a simmer. Pour these juices onto the lamb.
- Add the remaining tomato juice, chopped tomatoes, chopped apricots, chopped dates, sultanas, almond flakes, saffron and stock.
- Bring to a lazy simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid and bake in the oven for 2-2½ hours. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the parsley over the top.