Recipe from Catering North Dublinby Conor McGloughlin
While we all love a roast leg of lamb with mint sauce or some delicious grilled lamb chops a Tagine offers a totally different depth of flavour.
This is a rich and very flavoursome dish made with the less expensive neck or shoulder of Lamb. The cooking aromas will create a really exotic atmosphere and the flavours won’t let you down.
Firstly ask for the meat to be well trimmed and diced into one inch chunks. Add the spice ingredients to a mixing bowl and mix well. Now add the diced lamb and coat thoroughly. The longer in advance this is done the better the result will be. Twenty four hours is ideal but overnight would be about the minimum.
After marinating brown the lamb in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Do it in small batches to make sure it fry’s hard and does not stew. About four or five minutes a batch should do. Put the lamb in a heavy casserole with a fitted lid. De-glaze the pan with a drop of cold water and add the juices to the casserole. Now give the onion, garlic and peeled ginger a good whiz in the food processor. Fry until soft in the pan with another drop of olive oil. Add to the casserole. Add the passatta and stock to the casserole with the chopped apricots and a tablespoon of clear honey. Put it in the oven at 170 c for two hours. Check after an hour and a half that there is still enough liquid to barely cover the meat. If it’s dry add a drop of boiling water. When it’s cooked the meat will be very soft and tender so it needs to be plated gently. What to serve it with is a bit of a personal choice. Cous cous is very traditional, rice works well as does baked or mashed potato. After plating sprinkle with some toasted flaked almonds and freshly chopped coriander.
Serves 4 – Ingredients
1 kg diced lamb shoulder or neck
Spice Mix: 1 tsp Paprika, Ground Coriander, Cumin, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Good pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves
1 Chopped Onion
2 inch piece of Root Ginger peeled
500ml Chicken Stock
1 Tablespoon of Honey
200 gm Chopped Apricots
50 gm Pan- Toasted Flaked Almonds
Bunch of Fresh Coriander or Flat Parsley