Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemons & Cumin

tagine.jpg

This is glorious. It takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R to cook, but if you have a spare day then it’s fine. If you’re feeling particularly reckless, then you can stick it on in the morning and it’ll be ready when you get back from the shops. If your house burns down while you’re out, that’s your lookout I’m afraid.

If you can’t find preserved lemons then:
a) look harder.
b) you can use the grated zest of 1 1/2 lemons and the rind of 1/2
c) you can preserve your own lemons if you are able to wait for 2 months.

Now, you can cook this in a normal casserole dish which has a lid, but if you’re recently married and received 12 tagines as gifts then feel free to use one of those instead.

INGREDIENTS:
1.5kg lamb shanks, or chunk steaks on the bone. (Trim off as much fat as possible)
2 medium onions (sliced)
2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon skin
1 tablespoon roughly ground cumin seeds
2 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
4 tablespoons fresh corriander (finely chopped)
40g butter (unsalted)
Salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 140ºC.
In a food processor, blend the onions, lemons, garlic, cumin and corriander into a paste. Melt the butter in a large ovenproof pan which has a tight fitting lid. Add the paste, then 300ml water and then the lamb. Make sure everything is coated with the paste and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 5-6 hours.
Check the lamb every hour or so as it may not take as long to cook depending on how large the chunks were. If there’s a lot of fat on the surface scoop it out with a spoon. The lamb is ready when it just gives up and falls off the bone without any effort on your part. Check for salt & pepper at the end.

If you want some vegetables in this then 5-10 minutes before the end of cooking you can add some frozen peas or some diced carrots or BOTH.

SERVING:
Cous Cous or salad & bread.

TIP: Made 1 day in advance this tastes even better.

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