Lamb and Apricot Tagine
This traditional method of cooking a tagine requires little preparation time, especially if you buy the meat already diced. Serve with steamed couscous, rice (or boiled potatoes) and a green salad, or as part of a larger Moroccan meal.
1 kg diced lamb, trimmed of most of its fat
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
1 tsp each of freshly ground white pepper, cumin, ginger and nutmeg
good pinch of saffron and salt
1 preserved lemon, chopped (optional), or juice and grated zest of half a lemon or a Seville orange
12 dried apricots
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a handful of whole blanched almonds, lightly toasted to serve
chopped coriander to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 3 (or the lowest possible heat). Wipe the meat, and put in a 'tangia' or other earthenware casserole. Add the rest of the ingredients and put on the lid. Seal this tightly with foil, or a flour and water paste, and cook in the very low oven for 2½-3 hours.
Suggestions : For an excellent soup, add chickpeas, chopped onions, carrots, celery, turnips and plenty more water.
You can also make the tagine with mutton, in which case leave it to cook for about five or six hours (this is an ideal dish for the slow cooker).
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours Serves: 6