Saturday, 29 October 2016

Red Recipe - Lamb Tagine

Recently, I made an incredible Lamb Tagine for a dinner evening with my boyfriend and his best friend. I love cooking for friends, so I immediately jumped at the chance to make something impressive. Tagine is something I adore, ever since my college days. Yes, it's time consuming, but you can literally leave it on the stove on a low heat and clean the house, or watch a movie, which are both things I did.

I didn't take any fancy photos, so this will have to do you! 

Tagine is a Moroccan dish, akin to stew, and traditionally it's made with lamb or beef. I made it with lamb, this time around. It's a warm, spiced, very hearty dish that you can make on a cold winter day and feed a multitude. When I made it, I was only cooking for three, but ended up giving our guest leftovers to take home, and we had it for lunch the next day too. It's a great dish, filling and tasty and pretty healthy, it's easy to prepare and it doesn't require really fiddly chopping or much by way of special equipment. So, here's how you make it!

What You Need:

500g (2 packs) of diced lamb from Lidl,
1 large onion chopped roughly,
2 large carrots, quartered and chopped roughly,
2 or 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced up roughly,
3 heaped tbsp ras-el-hanout spice (any decent ethnic grocers should have it)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tins of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
200g dried apricots (whole or chopped is up to you)
500ml chicken stock
Olive Oil

To Serve (Optional)

Flaked almonds.

If you have a cast iron casserole dish, you can make this on the stove top, if you're using a pyrex one, you're going to have to fry off the ingredients in a pan before you add them to the casserole pan and put it in the oven, Just use your discretion here, following these steps as best you can.

1. Heat up your oven. Gas Mark 4, or between 180- 200 Deg. Heat the olive oil in a pan, and sear off your meat. Scoop out the lamb onto a plate and pop it aside for a bit.

2. Cook your onions and carrots for 2 or 3 minutes til the onions are a light golden brown. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute or so.

3. Tip in the spices, the tomatoes and stir it all up. Here's where you might want to season it. (I opted not to) Chuck back in the lamb and tip in the drained chickpeas.

4. Pour over the stock, and stir the whole thing up well.

If you're making this in the oven, you need to cover the dish, and put it into the oven for 1.5 hours. I cooked this over a whole day on a stove, so about 6hours, and the lamb was so tender and the whole thing was incredible. To do this, you need to put it on a low heat, and keep a good eye on it every 30 to 40 minutes, stirring it to stop the bottom sticking or burning.

To serve, you can pair this with cous-cous, or rice, or potatoes if you want. It's incredible with cous-cous and corriander, with flaked almonds over the top.

If you make this, let me know what you thought. It's one of my favorite dishes, so I'd be curious to know! 

Happy Cooking,