Lamb Tajine with Dates and Almonds

Lamb Tajine

I wish I had taken more photos of this dish, but my day was spent clearing weeds from the polytunnel doors so I could actually shut them; dagging sheep (who had had the scours!); dog training, making masses of black pudding; working on the horror that was strawberry world (but more on that later); and slap marking pigs in the dark.

This sounds odd, but it is wonderful. It is loosely based on a recipe by Claudia Roden in Arabesque, but modified somewhat to take into account the fact I only had almonds with their skins on and had very dried dates as I once bought a vast box in case the zombie apocalypse was nigh. I also used hoggat and mutton not lamb as it taste better.

Tagine of Lamb with Dates and Almonds (Tagine Bil Tmar Wal Loz): 1kg of boned lamb neck or shoulder, diced; some butter and sunflower oil; 2 onions; 3/4 tsp of saffron; 3/4 tsp ground ginger; 1 large cinnamon stick; salt and lots of black pepper; 200g dried dates; handful of skin on almonds; 2-3 tbs of sesame seeds; stock or water.

Heat the butter and a little oil in a large deep casserole pan and brown the lamb. Remove from the pan and gently cook the onions in the same pan. Add the saffron and ginger and meat back into the pan. Season and add in the cinnamon stick. Just cover with water or stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and let simmer gently for 90 minutes or so. Then add in the dates chopped in half and cook for another 30 minutes.

Just before serving, fry the almonds and sesame seeds in a little more butter then add to the tajine.

We had it with couscous and chickpeas and a bit of leftover parsley sprinkled on top!

Serves 4.

N.B. I washed my hands very thoroughly after dagging the sheep and before making the black pudding …. no really i did.

9 responses to “Lamb Tajine with Dates and Almonds

  1. Dags to pudding to tagine and back to farm animals – no one can span high brow and low brow quite like you Claire (and all in one day no less!). I am always, always amazed at what you achieve 🙂

    • Thank you Conor. I had leftovers for lunch today and it was even better – just a little sweet and slightly sticky. Given I wasn’t sure i would like it (the dates kind of put me off) I think it has just become a favourite.

  2. mm mmm!! I haven’t had lamb in forever and your lamb here looks fall-off-the-bone tender!
    Based on your farm size I expect to be jealous for a long time. Just staring longingly at my computer or phone screen.

    PS
    I like that phrase, slap-marking.
    Gotta try and use that word more, ‘slap’. It’s got such a nice ring to it hee-hee!

    • It was like cutting butter – my favourite way to cook lamb/mutton is to just slowly cook it for hours. We have mutton shank madras curry for dinner tonight – now I am getting hungry!

      The slap marker is basically a lot of pointy needles that we put ink on and do a one-slap instant tattoo on the pigs of our smallholding number – luckily it doesn’t seem to bother them, but the first time we did it we were really apprehensive!

  3. I worked with a lovely Moroccan man who bought me an authentic tagine back from his home town near Marrakech. It’s quite big and would be about £40 to buy here!

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