Last night I was in the mood for something Moroccan. (And a tagine!) I flicked through my lovely The Food of Morocco cookbook and came upon this recipe. The flavours of the lamb, mint (inevitably!), spices and preserved lemon combine together really well. The recipe requires Za’atar which I couldn’t find in Sainsbury’s but fortunately the shop Taj came to my rescue.
500g of lamb shoulder, diced
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
½ a teaspoon of ground ginger
½ a teaspoon of ground turmeric
2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons of chopped parsley leaves
1 teaspoon of dried za’atar
1 preserved lemon
120g of peas
2 teaspoons of chopped mint
½ a teaspoon of castor sugar
Pre-heat the oven to 200.
Trim the lamb and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb.
Remove from the pan, reduce the heat and fry the onion for 5 minutes or so until soft.
Add the garlic, cumin, ginger and turmeric and cook for a few seconds.
Add 375ml of water and stir well to lift all the juices from the base of the pan.
Return the meat to the pan, add salt and freshly ground black pepper and bring to the boil.
Add the coriander and parsley and transfer to the tagine. Stir in the za’atar, pop the lid on the tagine and cook in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is tender and the liquid has reduced a little.
Cut the preserved lemon into quarters and rinse well. Remove and discard the pulp and membrane. Cut the rind into strips and add to the lamb, along with the peas, mint and sugar.
Cover, return the tagine to the oven and cook for a further 15 minutes.
Serve hot and with couscous. I added toasted pine nuts and the juice of half a lemon to the couscous. As well as a knob of butter, obviously!