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Tastes From An Authentic Tagine: Moroccan Lamb With Couscous!

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Tastes From An Authentic Tagine: Moroccan Lamb With Couscous!

Author : Robin Ashworth

Submitted : 2014-01-11 09:27:25    Word Count : 707    Popularity:   4

Tags:   lamb, Moroccan, tagine, couscous, spices, recipe, gift, cooking, aromas housewarming gift, wedding gift

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I've been experimenting with my cooking tagine! I was so delighted with the results, I wanted to share with you the recipe I used.

I own one of the cooking tagines you can find online, and decided to document the preparation process for you, as well.

Tagines require an initial "seasoning" before you cook with one for the first time. Seasoning is as follows:

First, submerge your new tagine in water for at least an hour.After soaking, rub the interior of the base and lid generously with olive oil.Place the tagine in a cold oven, and set temperature to about 300 degrees F (150C). Leave the tagine in the oven for two hours, then remove and let cool.When completely cool, wash in warm, soapy water, and dry with a clean cloth.

Admittedly, I was timid about putting my tagine over a stove burner for browning onions and meat, although I was reassured the tagine is perfectly safe over low to medium heat on a stove or gas burner. Still, I started my dish in a deep fry pan, then transferred my meat and onions to the tagine, and added the remaining ingredients.

Following is the recipe I used. It filled the house with the most delicious cooking aromas! Exotic and distinct, and utterly mouth-watering.

Moroccan Lamb with Couscous

1 lb 10 oz boned shoulder lamb, trimmed of excess fat and skin (you could also use 3-4 small lamb shanks)3-4 tsp cumin seeds1-2 tsp coriander seeds1 tbsp olive oil2 large onions, sliced1 tsp freshly ground cinnamon2 tsp grated fresh ginger root1 tsp turmeric2 garlic cloves1 tsp smoked paprika (hot or sweet, according to your taste)Zest and juice of one lime4.5 oz prunes2 oz toasted pine nuts or flaked almonds2 cans peeled tomatoesHandful of chopped coriander and mint to serve

10-15 dates*Punnet of figs*Toasted pine nuts**

Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

Trim and prepare the lamb, then cut into large chunks (or get your butcher to do this for you). If you're using shanks, leave them whole. (I prefer lamb shanks, particularly for entertaining.)

Dry-fry cumin and coriander seeds in a non-stick pan until they begin to pop, then grind to a powder. You can use an electric coffee grinder for this, but I prefer a mortar and pestle.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the olive oil and cook onions for a few minutes. Lift them out onto a plate, then brown the lamb pieces (or shanks) over high heat. Reduce heat and add the ground cumin and coriander. Add the cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric, stirring to combine the flavors. Return the onions to the pan and cook gently for 2-3 minutes.

At this point, I transfer everything to the warm tagine. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook for 2 hours in the oven.

*I add around 10-15 dates and a punnet of figs. I cut them in half and add half the quantity for adding flavor during the main, covered cooking, and the remaining half when opening the tagine for the last 10 minutes of open cooking. **At this point, I also add toasted pine nuts for an extra dimension of texture and delicious crunch.

When done, you may eat immediately, or allow the dish to cool completely, and gently reheat to serve. The dish actually improves the next day….but it smells so good, it's very hard to wait!

When you serve, stir in the fresh, chopped coriander and mint and serve with or over couscous.

Couscous

10 oz couscous18 oz good chicken or vegetable stock, boilingSlurp of good olive oilLarge handful of mint and coriander, coarsely choppedHandful of flat-leaf parsley, coarsely choppedGrated zest and juice of ½ lemon or lime Put couscous in a bowl, and pour boiling stock and olive oil over, stirring gently. Cover and leave for about 10 minutes for the grains to soften. Season well and add the chopped herbs, zest and juice. Definitely add salt and pepper and chopped spring onions to raise the flavour profile.

This dish serves 4-5 people. The leftovers are absolutely wonderful, too! I truly believe a tagine is a lovely Christmas or housewarming or wedding gift. And it's a wonderful way to cook, as well.

Author's Resource Box

Distinct Moroccan cultural details are rendered in well-chosen pieces of furniture, a well-placed mirror, an engaging serving tagine, a wall hanging or beautiful pillows on a neutral couch. You can revise the character and feel of an existing room with carefully chosen Moroccan accents from Global Home Accents.

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