I wanted to share one of my favourite comfort recipes- Moroccan lamb tagine.
I adore lamb, and lamb shoulder is a relatively affordable cut, perfect for slow-cooking with Moroccan spices.
If, like me, you don’t have a slow cooker, you can either use a casserole dish on a low heat in the oven, or a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker is my favourite method, as you can achieve a slow-cooking effect in a short amount of time, and with very little gas or electricity. Once it’s at pressure, you can turn it right down and just let it whistle away for a while.
Lamb shoulder won’t really suffer from over-cooking, so you can cook it as long and slow as you like. I cook mine until I can break up the chunks of meat with gentle pressure from a wooden spoon. The tenderness of the meat should be like that of pulled pork.
Some recipes call for the addition of dates, sultanas, or apples, but I find these leave the dish too sweet for my taste. Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are enough to balance out the spices.
Boneless shoulder of lamb joint, diced
Cumin, paprika, cinnamon, chilli powder, cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic, and black pepper, all in generous quantities. Or a generous amount of a pre-blended Moroccan spice mix. (I’d still recommend having your own spices on the side, to tailor)
Butternut squash, in large chunks, about a handful per person
Sweet potato, the same
1 can of tomatoes, peeled or diced
Lamb or beef stock cubes
1 1/2 green bell peppers
1 large onion, cut into strips
1-2 shallots, cut into strips
More garlic if you prefer!
Soy sauce, to taste
Method -Begin the day before if possible (I didn’t, and it was still darn tasty!)
- Cut the lamb into chunks, and generously rub in the spices until the meat is completely coated. Refrigerate for as long as possible, overnight is best. However, if you can’t marinade the meat, don’t panic, I never marinaded mine and it’s still delicious. Trim the fat if desired.
- Fry the garlic, onions, and extra spices in olive oil or the trimmed lamb fat.
- Add the lamb and brown along with the onions. Remove everything from the pan and set aside.
- Quickly fry the butternut squash and sweet potato until lightly cooked on the outside. You can skip this step if you wish.
- Remove the vegetables and return the meat and onions to the pan of your pressure cooker. Add the stock cube, tinned tomatoes, and just a little water. Stir thoroughly, then place the lid on your pressure cooker. Raise it to pressure, then drop the gas until it’s just hot enough to keep the pressure up. Cook for around 20 mins at pressure, or until the meat is just beginning to soften.
- Add the sweet potato and butternut squash. Taste to check your spices, and add more if necessary. I like to go heavy on the cumin. If it looks like the tagine is getting dry, add a little water. Replace the lid and bring the cooker back up to pressure. Cook for five minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and repeat, cooking at pressure for 2-3 minutes.
- When all the ingredients are soft and you have a thick sauce, serve over fresh couscous.
Miss Scrumptious x