Friday 26 April 2013

Lamb Tagine Recipe

A tagine is a classic North African cooking pot with a conical lid that allows the steam from a dish to condense and run back into the dish so that it does not cook dry. It's the ideal vessel for long, slow, cooking over an open flame and is ideal for making use of the tougher cuts of lamb or goat.

The dishes known as 'tagines' are named for the vessel in which they are traditionally cooked, but you can substitute a casserole dish if it has a tight-fitting lid.

Lamb Tagine

Serves: 6

Stew of lamb and squash in a spiced tomato base served on a bed of couscous

6 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1.5kg (3 lbs) boneless lamb shoulder, trimmed neatly and cut into 5cm (2 in) chunks
4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground paprika
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
450ml (2 cups) passata (sieved tomatoes)
400g (14 oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
700g (1 2/3 lbs) butternut squash
100g (3 1/2 oz) sultanas
400g (14 oz) tin of chickpeas, drained
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Heat the oil in a deep flame-proof casserole (or a tagine). Add the onions and fry gently for 5 minutes or until softened. Sir in the ginger then immediately remove the onion and ginger with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add the lamb to the pan and fry until lightly browned all over then return the onion mixture to the casserole. Stir in the spices and cook for 1 minute.

Stir in the passata, tined tomatoes and 800ml (3 1/3 cups) water then bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and black pepper then cover the pan, and simmer gently for 90 minutes or until the lamb is tender.

Add the butternut squash and stir to combine then cover the casserole and cook for 20 minutes, or until the squash pieces are just tender. Stir in the sultanas and chickpeas and allow to heat through for 5 minutes.

Serve hot on a bed of couscous.

As an alternative cooking method, you can also prepare tagines on a barbecue rather than oven cooking. This can extend your barbecue cooking techniques quite appreciably.

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