Lamb Tagine with Peas and Lemons served with a Tagine of Chickpeas

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A Moroccan meal which is pretty easy to prepare and absolutely delicious! You don’t really need one of those pretty tangines, like the one above given to me for Father’s Day, as you can use a good casserole, but it does help to give the impression of creating  something authentically Moroccan. Tagine or casserole, the recipe is the real deal and comes adapted from a book given to me with the tagine called The food of Morroco – a journey for food lovers, by Tess Mallos. You can serve this combination with traditional couscous, white rice or crusty bread.

Lamb Tagine with Peas and Lemons

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Serves 4-6

1kg boneless lamb
2 tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp gound cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried za’atar or 2 tsp fresh lemon thyme
1/2 to 1 preserved lemon
235gm fresh or frozen peas
2 tsp fresh chopped mint
1/2 tsp fine castor sugar

Method

Trim the lamb and cut into bite-sized cubes. Heat olive oil to quite a high heat in the tagine and brown the lamb in batches. Remove to a bowl with slotted spoon.
Reduce the heat to low and add the onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Add garlic, cumin, ginger and turmeric and cook for a minute.
Add 375ml of water, stirring to lift anything from the bottom of the tagine. Return the lamb to the pan with a good grinding of sea salt ad black pepper. Add the coriander, parsley, za’atar/thyme and cover and simmer on a low heat for about 11/2 hours, until tender.

You can buy preserved lemons in most supermarkets. They have a strong, sour taste so don’t overdo the amount. I find half a lemon is about right as the strong flavour can overpower everything else. Rinse the lemon under a tap and discard the pulp and membranes so that you are left only with the skin. Cut it into very fine strips. About 10 mins before the end of the cooking period add it the the lamb with the peas, mint and sugar. Return to a simmer until the peas are tender and you’re done.

Tagine of Chickpeas

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Serves 4-6

3 tbsp olive oil
i brown onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 tsp harissa paste or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 x 400gm tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp superfine castor sugar
2 x 420gm tins chickpeas
3 tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Method

Heat olive oil in the tagine over a medium heat, add onions and soften, about 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, harissa paste and all the spices and cook for about 2 mins until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and sugar, season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer for about 20 mins.

Meanwhile, drain the chickpeas and put in a large bowl. Cover them with cold water and rub the chickpeas between your palms until all the skins are removed. They will float to the surface. Skim them off. You may need to repeat theis process a few times until you have got rid of the skins.

Drain the chickpeas and stir them into the tomato mixture, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. You may need to add a little more water. Still in the parsley and coriander, check the seasoning and serve.

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