14:29 | Posted by Nim Headland | Category

Lamb Tagine

This recipe is gorgeous. It's one of the few things I cook that regularly provokes "restaurant quality" type comments, which are very flattering to the old ego, especially since this is so easy a chimp could make it.
It's my forever-recipe for tagine. I adore it. The discovery of Ras el hanout spice mix is what makes it, as well as keeping it simple and not chucking in carrots and pomegranates and stuff just because that's what Gordon does. Ras el hanout is a Moroccan style spice mix and a real find. It's a mix of spices like cinnamon, clove, coriander, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, cumin and coriander. You could make your own, or use the Barts spice mix, which I use here. I am so impressed with the Barts version. It also contains ginger, paprika and rose petals making it beautifully fragrant. It gives a tagine or marinade a real depth and gloss.

For four, you'll need:

2 tbsp olive or grape seed oil
500g lean, diced lamb. Leg or neck for preference
1 chopped white onion
2 chopped garlic cloves
2 tbsp Ras el hanout spice mix
400g can chopped tomatoes
200g dried apricots
600ml chicken stock

Lamb Tagine:

Get your oven on high, about 180c/160 fan or gas 4. Then add the oil to a large casserole dish and brown the lamb on all sides. Remove to a plate and add the onions to the casserole, frying until lightly coloured. Add the garlic and cook until you can smell it, before stirring in the spices and tomatoes.

Add the lamb back to the casserole with the apricots (halve these if you prefer) Pour over the stock and bring to a simmer.
Now, at this point you can cover your casserole and pop in the oven, or remove it to a Tagine first, if you're lucky enough to have one. I have a sort-of version. It's terracotta and has a spout for steam so it works in a similar way. I'm entranced by it, so would recommend using your tagine if you have one stashed away somewhere. Either way, chuck it in the oven and leave well alone for one hour. Then you can check it, allowing 20 mins more if the lamb is still a bit tough. Make some couscous while you're waiting and then tuck in.

This is even better re-heated the next day with a warm seeded roll for dunking. Beautiful!


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