Thursday, January 10, 2013

January Jeliciousness: Lamb & Apricot Tagine

So, Clive served this on New Year's Eve and it was so ridiculously good that I made it again this weekend.

Clive says: I was looking for something warm and comforting to serve on New Year's Eve and I began by looking for a lamb stew and then narrowed my search to Nigel Slater. It was then I discovered this tagine and it seemed instantly the right dish to make. We weren't disappointed.

image via the Telegraph

Persian Rice with tahdig by Clive. So impressive.

Serves 4
Of all the fruit and meat marriages, this is the one that appeals to me most.
1kg diced lamb shoulder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions
4 cloves of garlic
60g sultanas
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp saffron stamens
750ml stock
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
350g apricots
a preserved lemon
a handful of coriander leaves
a small handful of mint leaves

Toss the cubed lamb in half the ground spices and leave for at least four hours. Overnight would be ideal.
Set the oven at 160C/325F/gas mark 3. Warm the olive oil in a deep, heavy-based casserole and add the seasoned meat in small batches. Remove when it is browned nicely on all sides. Peel and roughly chop the onions, then peel and finely slice the garlic. Add to the pan with the remaining spices and allow to soften and colour lightly. Stir regularly over a moderate heat so that the spices flavour the onions but do not burn.

Add the sultanas, honey, saffron stamens, stock, tomatoes and apricots, then return the meat to the pan. Bring to the boil, season with salt and black pepper, then cover with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for two and a half hours.
Cut the preserved lemon in half and discard the interior pulp. Finely chop the skin and stir into the tagine. Lift out the meat with a draining spoon and boil the sauce over a high heat until it is reduced and thick, then stir in the roughly torn coriander and mint leaves. Return the meat to the sauce and serve.

Serve with plain rice or couscous. Clive served it with Persian Rice.

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