Back to work, January Blues, Christmas a distant blurry memory, weather outside = Winter Storm. Yes, feeling a bit sorry for ourselves I think?! Well then make this, light the fire, (I’d say have a glass of wine but am trying to get to a little further into January than this without wine) and eat. This is comfort food at its very best. When I make it, I wonder could we have it for dessert as well. ( I usually ‘wonder’ the other way around – could we have this dessert for dinner instead). The next day someone was heard uttering ‘I am still dreaming about that Tagine” – this is good. And it works with Winter Lamb which does need a good old ‘stew’ (as my mother would say), or a succulent slow simmer (as Nigella would say). This is adapted from Nevin McGuire’s “Moroccan Lamb Tagine”.
- 2 tblsp hot paprika
- 1 tblsp ground coriander
- 1 tblsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
- 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) lamb shoulder, well trimmed and cut into 4cm (1½in) chunks
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 onions, roughly chopped
- 2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
- 2 tblsp olive oil
- 450ml (¾ pint) tomato juice
- 450ml (¾ pint) chicken stock
- 2 tblsp clear honey
- 225g (8oz) Medjool dates, cut in half and stones removed
- 50g (2oz) toasted flaked almonds
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
- Greek yoghurt, to garnish
- Mix together the paprika, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin and pepper in a large bowl, then tip half into a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the lamb to the large bowl and coat in the spices. Cover with clingfilm and chill overnight, but up to 2 days is perfect. (I wasn’t this organised and simply added it to the lamb just before I cooked it – it still tasted lovely).
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/gas mark 3).
- Place the garlic, onions and ginger into a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
- Heat a large heavy-based casserole dish over a medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and brown off the marinated lamb in batches.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the onion mixture and cook for a few minutes, until softened but not coloured. Stir in the reserved spice mixture and cook for another minute or so, until well combined.
- Pour the tomato juice and stock into the pan and then add the browned lamb with the honey, stirring to combine.
- Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring in the dates halfway through, until the lamb is completely tender and the sauce has thickened and reduced. Season to taste. Serve with toasted almonds, Greek Yogurt and Cous Cous or rice.