Saturday, February 25, 2006

Spiced lamb tagine with preserved lemon & green olives

Well after going out for a fairly late breakfast this morning I wasn’t really up for lunch & instead when I got peckish late this afternoon I had some left over Christmas plum pudding made beautifully by my mum, I love the way these things last forever & get better with age (as do women of course), a very generous dash of custard & a minute or so in the microwave & yum all done!

As is typical of Melbourne weather, after a couple of gorgeous perfect hot days the sky turned dark, lightning flashed, the sky rumbled & then came the rain, has been pretty heavy & steady all afternoon which of course left me with lots of time to cook up some slow food for dinner as I couldn’t get stuck into the garden as planned.

Made the following Lamb Tagine which in my modesty I claimed to be ‘absolutely sensational & possibly even better than the one I had at Mecca Bah recently’. Michael though, as is usual said it was ‘nice’ but much preferred last nights duck as the flavours were not strong enough for him. Anyway I think this dish won out myself, lamb falling apart, beautiful subtle spicy flavours, & perfect with a glass of 2001 Brown brothers merlot & the sounds of the rain beating down outside. Now all I need is a Tagine Dish so I can make it for my next dinner party & impress everyone, next time I’m in Morocco perhaps…! The recipe was ripped from a recent magazine, sorry can’t remember which one, here it is

Spiced lamb tagine with preserved lemon & green olives

Olive Oil
3 sticks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 medium brown onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbspn roasted & ground cumin seeds
1 tbspn roasted & ground coriander seeds
¼ tspn ground turmeric
¼ tspn ground ginger
¼ tspn ground cinnamon
pinch saffron threads
1 boned lamb shoulder, approx 1.5-2kg, cut into 6cm pieces
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2-3 litres chicken stock or water
2 tbspn honey
2 tbspn harissa
1 cup pitted green olives, cut in half
1 tbspn julienne of preserved lemon
salt & pepper
1 cup picked & washed coriander leaves
1 cup picked & washed parsley leaves
steamed couscous to serve

In a saucepan big enough to hold the lamb, heat a good splash of olive oil, add the veges & garlic & cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft but not brown. Add the mixed spices, lamb, tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme & enough stock or water to cover the lamb. Bring to the boil, skim the surface of any fat, then reduce heat to low & simmer very gently for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.

Skim the fat from the surface again, then add the honey, harissa, olives & preserved lemon. Season to taste with salt & pepper, then transfer to a tagine dish (if you are lucky enough to have one that is!) for serving.

Scatter the herbs generously over the top & serve immediately with steamed couscous on the side.

1 comment:

cin said...

sounds line one of my favourite dishes-