1 March 2013

Lamb, Prune and Almond Tagine

For Christmas my wonderful mummy bought me the Good Housekeeping Slow Cook book.  I love to cook from recipes and will often get up super early to prep ingredients or load the slow cooker.
I try and get my children to try new flavours and textures as often as possible as I want them to embrace new and interesting foods rather than be terrified of them.  When I saw this recipe I nearly skipped straight past it – the thought of either me or the boys eating prunes filled me with dread.  Also, I figured that tagines needs to be cooked in those weird triangular pans which people spend a fortune on and then leave in the back of the cupboard with the breadmaker and juicer.  However knowing that this blog is about healthy easy cooking from fresh ingredients, I decided to give it a go – on your behalf
This recipe for lamb, prune and almond tagine was not only delicious but also really warming on such a wintry grey english day.  The oldest loved it and even ate the prunes (don’t tell him).  My youngest was not so keen, but I think that had more to do with the couscous than the lamb – he has never really liked it.

Lamb, Prune and Almond Tagine

2tsp coriander seeds (I only had the ground stuff)
2tsp cumin seeds
2tsp chilli powder (I used chilli sauce as I had run out of chilli powder)
1tbsp paprika
1tbsp ground turmeric
5 garlic cloves, chopped
6tbsp olive oil
1.4kg lamb leg steaks
75g butter
2 large onions, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
900ml beef stock
300g prunes (I used canned prunes and then found the ready-to-eat pack in the cupboard )
4 cinnamon sticks (I only had 2 left)
4 bay leaves
50g ground almonds
12 shallots
1tbsp honey
Toasted almonds and flat leaf parsley to garnish
Couscous to serve

  • Using a pestle and mortar combine the coriander, cumin, chilli, paprika, turmeric, garlic and 4tbsp oil.  Coat the lamb with the paste and marinate for 5 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 170®c.  Melt 25g butter in a large flameproof casserole.  Add the onions and carrot and cook until soft.  Remove and put to one side.  Fry the lamb in the remaining butter.  Add a little of the stock and bring to the boil, scraping the sediment from the bottom of the pan.  Put the onions and carrot back in the casserole and add 100g prunes.  Add the remaining stock with the cinnamon, bay leaves and ground almonds.  Season, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender.
  • Meanwhile, fry the shallots in the remaining oil and the honey until golden brown.  Add to the casserole 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
  • Take the lamb out of the sauce and put to one side.  Put  the casserole over the heat, bring to the boil and reduce to t a thick consistency. Put the lamb back in the casserole, add the remaining prunes and bubble for 3-4 minutes. Garnish with the almonds and parsley. Serve hot with couscous.

ps cooking this many onions will make you cry!


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