The bold flavour of lamb can really stand up to a fair amount of spice as well as the brineyness of olives, salty preserved lemons and the sweetness of dried fruit. Having said that,the ingredients in this recipe are merely a guideline, feel free to improvise to your liking. The same cooking method can be carried out with most meats that take well to braising (one of our favourites was a heavily spiced cuttlefish variation). Adjust the vegetables, herbs, spices and additional seasonings to your liking – this technique isn’t only super easy but also super versatile! If you don’t have a tajine fear not, follow the recipe in the exact same way using your favourite pot or well covered casserole dish.
750g of lamb shoulder, leg or shank
1 medium sized onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and quartered
3 spring onions
2 tablespoons of dried apricots
2 tablespoons of black olives
1 preserved lemon, quartered
2 tablespoons of ras el hanout
Salt to taste
Mint and sliced chilli to garnish
1. Begin by cutting the lamb into large pieces and place them in a mixing bowl with the onion, garlic, carrot, olive oil and ras el hanout. Season liberally with salt and stir to combine.
2. Place the sliced onion on the base of the tajine and layer the lamb and remainder of the vegetables over them.
3. Add the dried apricots, preserved lemon and olives over the top of the lamb along with a splash of water or lamb stock if you have it and close the lid of the tajine securely.
4. Place in a 160°c oven for 3 hours or until the lamb is tender. Garnish with freshly chopped herbs, sliced spring onions and sliced chili. Serve with cous cous.
This recipe was taken from our Cuisines of the Maghreb & Arab Levant course as well as the April edition of First Magazine