Lamb, Saffron, Apricot and Almond Tagine
Tagines are a wonderful way of bringing a little unique and exotic North African flavour to a meal. Lamb, perfumed with saffron and spices, is married beautifully with the sweet depth of plumped apricots and the crunch of whole almonds. This stunning dish is a real showstopper but couldn’t be simpler to make.
- 800g lamb neck fillet, cut into 1 inch thick chunks
- Couple of generous pinches of best quality saffron threads
- 150g dried apricots
- 75g blanched whole almonds
- 2 small or 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 2 heaped tablespoons of clear honey
- A good squeeze of lemon juice
- Vegetable oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Water, freshly boiled
- ½ small packet of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped including stalks
Drizzle enough oil into the base of the tagine to cover the surface and heat gently over a low to medium heat. Add the onions and fry them until they begin to brown slightly around the edges.
Add the lamb and stir the meat into the onions, ensuring you keep the meat moving, so its gets nicely browned but does not stew. Crumble in the saffron strands and stir through the meat until the colour begins to bleed.
Add the spices and stir, ensuring you coat the meat well and then add the honey and stir well. Pour in just enough water, from a boiling kettle, to cover the ingredients and reduce the heat to low and simmer for an hour and 30 minutes, stirring every so often.
After the initial cooking time has elapsed, add the apricots and stir the ingredients well and allow to cook for at least another 30 minutes before serving scattered with almonds and fresh parsley.
Serve with either couscous, rice or flatbread.