Like Morocco, a tagine holds a certain element of mystery and mystique. Infusing the most complex of flavours, tender meats and vegetables in a fine balance of sweet and savoury – a good tagine is not simply another dish. It’s a magic carpet ride to distant lands.
While the tagine pot promotes the perfect cooking conditions (steaming and baking the food at the same time), if you don’t own one, a casserole dish with a lid will still work.
2 packs of good quality stewing lamb
Approx 2 – 3 tbsp Moroccan spice
2 tbs flour
Constantia Uitsig Red Horizon 2012
1 beef/ lamb stock cube or stock pots mixed with 1.5 cups boiling water
1 chicken stock cube or stock pot mixed with 1 cup boiling water
10 baby onions
1 tin Italian chopped tomatoes
Verlaque (preserved lemons). If too expensive or you cant find this, a few thin peels of orange and lemon rind with no white pith is delicious too
12 whole prunes
3 cinnamon sticks
2 carrots, chopped into batons
Brown stewing lamb pieces in olive oil with Moroccan spice rub. Sprinkle with 2 tbs flour and add 1 cup red wine plus 1 ½ cups beef stock. Set aside.
Brown 10 small whole onions in oil, add 3 large cloves grated garlic, some grated or chopped ginger, ground coriander and 1 cup chicken stock.
Now add the tin of chopped tomatoes.
Add 3 slices preserved lemon (chopped), 12 whole prunes, 3 cinnamon sticks and the carrot pieces, then mix with meat. Add extra stock or wine if meat isn’t covered.
Put in tagine (or ceramic casserole dish with lid) and cook at 180 degrees celcius for 2 – 3 hours.
Serve with chickpeas and couscous (below) and fresh coriander.
CHICKPEA AND COUSCOUS:
2 tins of chickepeas
Thinly slice 2 onions and fry in olive oil and a few tablespoons of Moroccan spice, and a little salt, until deep golden and soft. Set aside.
In the same pan, add a little more olive oil and fry 2 tins of drained chickpeas, so they are golden and the skins slightly crisped in places.
Add to onions.
In separate shallow dish, add 2 cups of couscous and cover with boiling water and salt (water should sit about 1com above couscous). Cover dish with cling film and leave to absorb. Once the water has absorbed, check the texture and if still a bit hard, add a little more boiling water and cover. Couscous should be soft with a slight bite.
Stir through the chickpeas and onion, leaving a little to finish on top. Check seasoning.
Roast the sliced almonds till golden and sprinkle on top with some more coriander.