In honour of Noy, earlier this week I made a lamb tagine. Actually, Noy doesn’t like lamb but I think this dish would work well with other meats too. I do not have an actual tagine, so this was less traditional that one might like but worked very well in a regular pot.
It being Spring (kind of, when it feels like it) there’s much made of lamb coming into season and I very rarely cook it so took the plunge.
The resulting meal was a success, I’ll make a few changes when I cook it again, like adding the chickpeas and squash later on so that they have more bite and I’d add more harissa, to provide more heat. Better still to use dried chickpeas instead of canned and soak them first. There was plenty left over and it freezes well so I’ll do that when we have the rest.
I resisted the urge to put peas in it, I want peas with everything at the moment but they wouldn’t have worked. I would also add more seeds, possibly also pine nuts to the cous cous for more of a crunch.
Lamb Tagine (serves 4 maybe more but we’re greedy)
900g Lamb, leg or shoulder meat
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 good pinches of saffron strands
1 small tin of tomato puree
3 tsp harissa paste
400g plum tomatoes
3/4 pint of lamb stock
1 small butternut squash, chopped into 1inch cubes
1 tin of chickpeas
200g cous cous
1 packet of fresh coriander
1/2 packet of fresh mint
25g sunflower and pumpkin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tub 0% fat total greek yoghurt
- Brown the lamb in the oil in batches and put aside.
- Fry the onion until soft with the remaining oil.
- Add the garlic, and spices and fry them off until the aromas are released
- Pour in the tomatoes, tomato puree, harissa and stock and simmer for 1 hour
- When 30 minutes have passed, add the chickpeas, the squash and 1/3 of the herbs.
- Add 200g of hot stock (I used lamb) to the cous cous and allow to soak for around 10 mins. Fluff with a fork, add 1/3 of the herbs, the lemon juice and the seeds.
- Serve the meat and sauce on a bed of the cous cous with some greek yoghurt or similar on top. Also, a wedge of lemon to garnish and squeeze over.
Thanks to Lizzie for suggesting cooking the cous cous with stock, obvious really but I’m not generally a fan and so have only made it once or twice before following packet instruction. Using stock really helped. It’s a good alternative for those days when you find you’re a little bored of pasta and rice. Neither would really work with this dish. Many recipes suggest the addition of honey or dried fruit but I don’t really think it’s needed.