Tagine is the ultimate in slow-cooked dishes – meltingly tender meat married with the striking spices of North Africa. This lamb Tagine is truly wonderful, the best of its kind – a dish of great depth and spice.
Homemade Ras El Hanout is the key to any great Tagine and beats shop-bought spice mix hands down. Not only will your Tagine taste more vibrant, you are free to alter the quantities of individual spices to create a dish unique to your tastes.
This Tagine is best served with spiced couscous, my Couscous for Lamb is the perfect accompaniment!
For the Ras El Hanout: 2tsp Coriander Seeds, 2tsp Cumin Seeds, 1tsp Chilli Flakes, 2tsp Ground Cinnamon, 1tsp Sweet Paprika, 4 Cardamon Pods, 1tsp Ground Ginger, 1tsp Ground Turmeric, 1/2tsp Ground Mace
For the Tagine: 700g Diced Lamb Leg, 1 Quantity Ras El Hanout, 2 Onions Finely Sliced, 2tbsp Olive Oil, 2 Garlic Cloves Crushed, Good Pinch Saffron, 1 Cinnamon Stick, 1 Can Chopped Tomatoes, 500ml Vegetable or Lamb Stock, 2tbsp Honey
To Finish: 1 Tin Chickpeas Drained, Chopped Rind of 1 Preserved Lemon, 75g Dried Apricots Chopped, Handful Chopped Mint, Handful Chopped Coriander, Seeds 1 Pomegranate, Natural Yogurt
1) Make the Ras El Hanout by toasting the coriander and cumin seeds over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Place the seeds and all other ingredients in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and process to a fine powder.
2) Pre heat the oven to 180C. In a casserole dish, brown the lamb in the olive oil in batches over a high heat and set aside. Sauté the onions and garlic cloves in the dish for 5 minutes until soft and beginning to brown. Add the Ras El Hanout and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
3) Return the lamb to the dish. Add the stock, tomatoes, cinnamon stick, honey and saffron to the dish and bring to a simmer – stirring well to combine.
4) Cover the dish and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-4 hours until the lamb is tender. You may need to add a little extra stock or water during cooking if the mixture appears dry.
5) Before serving, add the chickpeas, preserved lemon rind, dried apricots, coriander and mint to the dish. Stir well to combine and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
6) Serve the Tagine with a spoonful of natural yogurt and a scattering of pomegranate seeds.