Lamb isn’t a meat I often cook with. Unless it’s in a curry, I don’t really enjoy the taste of it – I find it too fatty and rich. I find if it’s slow cooked, it tastes delicious and takes on the flavour of whatever you cook it in. I’ve been meaning to do a tagine for weeks now. I’ve never done one before but it’s one of those meals that I devour if given the chance! I love the sweetness from the fruit, but the subtle spices that come through. A good tagine should have layers of flavours, a thick sauce and melt-in-the-mouth lamb.
Tonight, I was going to do a stuffed butternut squash with some spiced lamb mince, but as I was cooking it, I knew the consistency wasn’t right to use for what I wanted as it was too wet. I should have fried it in spices and not put any moisture in it for it to be the right texture for the squash. It smelt amazing and just like a tagine, so I thought I would put it with cous cous instead and make some tzatziki.
It was so easy to do and it was so tasty. It made six portions so luckily for me, I have some for my lunch tomorrow! I had some random veg in my fridge that I cut up and just chucked it all in to bulk it out and to get my five a day! One of the tastiest things I put in was the cauliflower – it actually tasted amazing with the spices and was a really nice texture. It looks like an overwhelming list of ingredients, but just mix all the spices together and chuck them all in at once! You can put more or less in of some spices, depending on what you like.
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes.
- 500g lamb mince.
- 100g sultanas.
- 100g chopped dried apricots.
- 100g chopped dates.
- 1 brown onion diced.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- 1 tsp lazy ginger.
- 3 red chillis sliced.
- 1 green pepper diced.
- 100g button mushrooms sliced.
- 1 carrot diced.
- 2 sticks of celery diced – great for a stock base.
- 1 tbsp tomato puree.
- Half cauliflower cut into small florets.
- 1 tsp mustard seeds.
- 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- 1 tsp ground cumin.
- 1 tsp smoked paprika.
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon.
- 1 tsp mixed spice.
- 1 tsp tumeric.
- 1/2 tsp garam masala.
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
- 1 tsp ground coriander.
- 2 tbsp runny honey.
- 1 tsp ground ginger.
- 200ml beef stock.
- Freshly chopped coriander.
- Salt and pepper.
- Heat up some oil in a large saucepan/ casserole pot. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook on a gentle heat for a couple of minutes.
- Add the dried fruit and stir thoroughly.
- Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan all at once. I usually cook the onion and pepper first to soften them, but as it will be cooking for a couple of hours, they will soften.
- Next, put all of the spices into the pan, along with the tomato puree. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, fry off the lamb mince until it browns. Drain the excess juice and add it to the vegetables and spices. Stir it thoroughly.
- Add the stock and the honey. Season with salt and pepper and stir.
- Cook on a very low heat for around 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- I cheated and used a packet of flavoured cous cous as it is just so much easier. One pot meals are always so delicious! Serve with fresh coriander on the top and with tzatziki.