Lamb Tagine, with Chestnuts and Pomegranate Seeds

Lamb Tagine

Lamb Tagine

I have always wanted to cook using a tagine. It is something about slow cooked food, melding with the spices and ladled over buttery cous-cous that has captured my imagination. Fortunately, Christmas came with the bonus of being given a tagine as a present. After some home testing, I have tweaked this recipe a little and it is now a firm favourite. Yielding lamb, with garlic, saffron and cinnamon; the chestnuts replace potatoes and the whole lot is a deep and sweet delight. One tip, I like to fry the onions and brown the lamb in a separate frying pan, I find it works more quickly than in the diffused heat of the tagine. If you don’t have a tagine use a regular casserole dish, but don’t miss out on this warming treat of a meal.

Ingredients

  • tablespoon of butter and one of olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped or shredded
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • About 1lb of lamb (shoulder or leg) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 250g peeled chestnuts (vacuum packed are good)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of dark runny honey
  • seeds of a fresh pomegranate
  • small bunch of fresh mint chopped
  • small bunch of fresh coriander chopped.

Preparation method

  1. Heat the butter and oil in the pan, stir in the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and saute until they begin to colour. Add in the saffron, teaspoon of cinnamon and then in the lamb.
  2. When there is some deep flavours being given off add enough water to just cover the lot. Scrape the pan down for all the best bits. Put the lot into the tagine and pour over the now flavoured water.
  3. Bring the lot to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for around an hour.
  4. Add the 250g chestnuts, stir in the honey and cover and cook gently for a further thirty minutes, or until the lamb is nice and tender.
  5. Season with salt and plenty of pepper and toss in the pomegranate seeds, some of the mint and coriander and allow to stand off the heat for about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Plate up, and sprinkle the remaining herbs and seeds over the top. Serve with some buttered cous-cous.

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About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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