This recipe is what I like to refer to as a One Pot Wonder (definitely a Delia Smith reference!). By following the steps and balancing the ingredients to your taste this Middle Eastern dish is easy to prepare and delicious to eat. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and would be ideal for a slow cooker, if you have one. The following recipe serves 4-6 people and takes 2 and a half hours to cook.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 carrots, finely diced (about 150g)
- 500g diced leg of lamb
- 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp saffron strands
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp clear honey
- 100g soft dried apricots, quartered
- 1 low-salt vegetable stock cube
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1cm dice
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopping into 1cm dice
- steamed couscous or rice, to serve
- chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts, to serve (optional)
To start you need to heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the chopped onions and carrot and cook until softened, for about 5 minutes.
Next add the diced lamb and brown all over. Stir in the crushed garlic and all the spices; cumin, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. Cook for a few mins more, until the aromas are released. It should start to smell pretty good at this point!
Next, add the honey and dried apricots.
Crumble in the stock cube and pour over roughly 500ml boiling water or enough to cover the meat. I used a ‘very low fat’ vegetable stock cube from Kallo. Give the tagine a good stir and bring to the boil. Afterwards you want to turn it down to a simmer then put the lid on and cook for 1 hour.
When the first hour is up remove the lid and cook for a further 30 mins. If the tagine starts to loose a lot of liquid here you can always add another stock cube and 500ml of boiling water. Stir in the squash and sweet potato and cook for a further 20 – 30 mins more. When the squash and sweet potato is soft and the lamb is tender it’s ready to serve!
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. Serve alongside rice or couscous – I went for Bulgar Wheat as I had some leftover in the cupboard 🙂 Enjoy!