I was looking for an appropriate quote containing the words April and lamb and this is what popped up! “Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools than ever.” Charles Lamb. I shall just leave that with you and concentrate on the fact that there’s a lot of lamb around in April so I thought I’d share a yummy recipe from my lovely Mums recipe collection.
Moroccan Style Lamb Tagine
It’s not true Moroccan as they don’t eat a lot of rice but is a one-pot meal which would be lovely to have either as a family meal or for relaxed entertaining. I borrowed a tagine to cook it in and make my photos look nice, but a casserole dish would do equally well. I jazzed up the original recipe with some extra Moroccan spices and changed the long grain rice to brown long grain, for extra fibre and nutrition. (If you do decide to use white rice just don’t put it in too early, it would probably only take 30 minutes to cook).
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 tbsp olive oil
450g neck or shoulder fillet of lamb cut into 2cm pieces
2 onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
300g carrots, peeled and cut into sticks
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
700ml hot lamb or chicken stock
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
100g brown long grain or brown basmati rice
150g dried apricots, halved
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pomegranate seeds and chopped fresh mint to serve.
Heat the oven to 150C fan, or 170C.
Heat the oil over a high heat in a large saucepan, wok or flameproof casserole. Add the meat in two batches and quickly brown. Drain and remove to a plate. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic and carrots to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and cook over a high heat for a couple of minutes, scraping up any meaty bits.
Add the spices to the pan and cook briefly, stirring. Then pour in the hot stock, add the thyme, bay leaves, salt and pepper to season and bring to the boil. Return the meat to the pan and stir. Transfer to a tagine or casserole dish (if not using the flameproof casserole), cover and place in the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes then add the rice, stir and return to the oven. Cook for a further 40 minutes and then add the apricots and sultanas and a splash of water if you think it needs it. Cook for 20 minutes by which time the rice should have absorbed most of the stock. Remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks and garnish with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and the chopped mint.
I served this with some steamed green beans but I think a crisp green salad would be rather nice too.
Besseha! (Enjoy your meal.)