Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Saffron & Prunes


There is something so very healing about this dish. Maybe it’s beacause I had a magnificent hangover when I first tasted it, or maybe because it is so intense and colourful with lots of spice to flush out the alcohlol crap from your body? Who knows?

I’ve cooked this dish sober and although most tagines’s do keep well in the fridge this one DOESN’T. It’s so much better on the day so make sure you have a few friends around to enjoy it. If there are any leftovers then pick out the prunes; they seem to be the tricky ingredient when reheating…

1.2kg Lamb (thickly diced)
1 tablespoon plain flour
1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (mashed)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspooon grated ginger
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1 red chilli (very very very finely chopped)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 litres beef stock
1/4 preserved lemon rind (chopped) OR 3 shavings of fresh lemon rind
1 x can diced tomatoes
pinch saffron threads
250g pitted prunes (chopped)

Sprinkle some salt & pepper over the beef, then dust lightly in the flour. Heat a large lidded pan and heat the oil. Fry the lamb in batches if neccessary until browned. Set meat aside. Add the remaining oil and then add the onion. Saute over a medium heat until browned for about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, coiander, ginger, chilli and paprika and stir for 1 minute. Add the sugar then the flour stir, then add the stock, preserved lemon and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, return the lamb to the pan, reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Take the lid off and simmer on a low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Combine the saffron with 3 tablespoons of boiling water and set aside. After the hours cooking, add the saffron mix, turn up the heat slightly and simmer for 25 minutes. Add the chopped prunes and simmer for 5 more minutes. The sauce should be thick, if not simmer more vigorously until it is!

With cous cous and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

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