What to say about this recipe? My husband gave me this beautiful tagine and I had to make something in it as soon as possible, so I made up this dish. I’m not sure you need an actual tagine for it, but I have discovered that cooking in clay does something magically luscious to meat. It makes it tender, moist and mouthwatering. I would still do this in a Dutch-oven if you don’t have a tagine and it should work just fine. It’s definitely more of a Sunday supper kind of dish as it takes a while to cook, but I thought it was worth the effort. I served it with large pearl cous cous and it was a perfect accompaniment. Just cook according to package instructions and then toss in a few tablespoons of butter, some salt and pepper and fresh parsley. The sauce from the lamb needs something to soak it up and the cous cous does a fine job.
Preparation time: 1 hour - overnight to marinate the lamb, 30 minutes active time and about 1 hour to cook.
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 chile de arbol, crushed
2 tbsp chopped parsley, Italian flat leaf variety
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 lb chopped lamb loin
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1/2 can diced tomatoes (fire roasted if possible)
handful dried figs, halved
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup white wine
sea salt and pepper
-Lightly toast cardamom seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately until fragrant. Then combine in mortar and pestle and grind coarsely. Add smashed garlic, parsley, crumbled chile de arbol and sweet paprika. Combine well and then add to lamb. Toss together until lamb is well coated, then let sit for at least an hour before cooking. (This could easily go in the fridge overnight as well and continue with the recipe the next day.)
-Heat oil in tagine or dutch oven until nearly smoking. Add lamb and brown on all sides. Cook in batches if needed to keep from crowding the pan. Remove lamb to a plate and set aside. Add onions to pot and cook until softened, adding more oil if needed. Then add diced tomatoes, figs, bay leaves. sherry, wine, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, add lamb and return to a simmer. Cover and cook at a simmer until lamb is tender, 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve with pearl cous cous and sauteed dinosaur kale.