One of hubby and my favourite things to cook at the moment is a tagine. We both love easy slow cooked food with melt in your mouth meat, and we got a lovely
tagine for Christmas! I often wondered what the purpose of the dome or come shaped lid was, and was recently told this traps the steam and returns the condensed liquid to the bottom, meaning you do not need as much liquid, useful for places that do not have a lot of fresh water available. I love the flavours of the typical North African spices, particularly cumin, cinnamon and turmeric so it’s great to experiment with these.
For this tagine we decided to use the lamb shanks we had in the freezer and also to try out the Moroccan Lamb Tagine Spice Mix Kit we bought from Spicentice at the BBC Good Food Show. These spice mix kits are 100% pure herbs & spices and are perfect for cooking if you are not sure about what spices to use for a particular dish, if you don’t have a huge selection of spices at home or are new to the spice world and don’t want to shed out lots of money of lots of individual jars of spices. We bought quite a few back in May and this is the second we have tried out. They do a huge selection of kits for all types of cuisine, and also do some great Spice Rubs and chutney so check them out! The kits all come with a shopping list of other things you will need and a recipe so they really are foolproof! We didn’t quite adhere to the list or recipe, preferring to put a slight spin of our own on it.
If your cooking in a tagine – check if yours is cast iron (i.e. – can be put on the hob) or if not, do steps 1-6 in a separate pan like I have and then transfer to pre heated tagine to cook in the oven
- 2 medium onions, finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 spicentice tagine kit
- 2 lamb shanks
- 600g chopped tomatoes or passata
- 1 large handful dried apricots, halved
- 1/2 tin chickpeas
- 1 handful coriander, chopped
- 100ml water
- Enough cous cous for 2 (follow packet recommended portions)
- Chicken stock to make up cous cous (again follow packet cooking instructions)
- salt and pepper
- olive oil for cooking
- 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
- Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and brown off the lamb shanks for a couple of minutes on either side. Remove from pan and put aside
- Add a further 1 tbsp oil to the pan and then gently fry the onions and garlic until softened and just starting to turn golden.
Add in one of the spice packets from the kit ( the one with the whole spices not powder) and fry off according to kit instructions.
Add in the other half of the kit and again fry off according to kit instructions.
Add in the apricots and chickpeas and give it all a good stir so it is all coated well.
Add the passata or chopped tomatoes and again stir thoroughly, adding about 100mls water as well.
7. Put the lamb shanks back into the tagine and put in the oven on 140 degrees for about 3 hours, checking after each hour and giving a quick stir. It may need a little longer depending on the size of the shanks, you want to cook it until when you pull gently at the meat it appears to come easily away from the bone.
- Prepare the cous cous with the chicken stock as per packet instructions, and season with salt and pepper.
Stir through the coriander just before serving, reserving a little for garnishing, and drizzle with the yoghurt.
Happy eating 🙂