Since I acquired and first used my beautiful crimson red tagine, featured in the post on Rozelle Village Markets, I have been very keen to give it a proper Road Test.
A working dinner with old friends allowed me to to give it the Top Gear treatment, and it passed with flying colours.
Pre-dinner nibbles – toasted flatbread with rocket pesto, and tomato and green olive dip.
The Top Gear team provided the production values. Jeremy photographed the Event, Richard the director gave creative advice and James brought some curious items from his Man Lab to enhance the theatricality of the Event. The Stig was notable for his absence. Perhaps he doesn’t like lamb…
Tagine of Lamb Shoulder with Apricots and Raisins
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon chilli powder or sambal oelek
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon tagine spice (Essential Ingredient make a fabulous blend)
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
1 kg diced lamb shoulder
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pistachio kernels, roughly chopped
Combine spices and salt in a large bowl. I prefer to grind my own in mortar and pestle. Add the oil, rind and half the juice and stir to form a paste. Add lamb and stir until well coated in the paste. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or longer.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Put the lamb mixture into a tagine or heavy bottomed casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the chicken stock and remaining lemon juice. Stir until well combined.
Cover and cook for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried apricot roughly chopped and raisins. Cook, covered for a further 40 minutes or until lamb is tender.
Tap half a pomegranate over the tagine to release the jewel like seeds, and scatter with a sprinkling of pistachio kernels.
Cook your favourite couscous recipe – mine has lots of oil and butter to enrich it – and serve with the seeds of the other pomegranate half scattered as artistically as the slippery seeds will allow!
A selection of your favourite salad greens – on this occasion mine were rocket and baby cos lettuce – with baby Shepard avocados, and a great dressing. Lindeman’s E.V. Olive Oil and Raspberry Vinegar worked well.