Thank goodness for Lamb Tagine from the Hairy Dieters and thank goodness for lockdown – if I didn’t have a spare couple of hours I would never have got around to making this brilliant recipe. Before I put you off, yes it can take between 1 hour 45 mins and 2 hours to make this, but prep time is about 15 minutes and then it’s just a case of banging it in the oven and giving it a stir after an hour.
The tenderness of the lamb, the lovely flavours of the spices and the sweetness of the honey and apricots combine so well together. I was greedy and served this with couscous. But the serving, bulked out by the chunks of sweet potato, is ample on its own. Enjoy, and if you love Moroccan-based recipes, check out Moroccan-style Chicken with Vegetable Couscous.
Recipe: Lamb Tagine
Calories: 457 calories per portion
Book: Hairy Dieters – How to Love Food and Lose Weight
Prep time: Approx 15 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 2 hours
Ingredients: 750g lean lamb leg meat (or leg steaks), 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground coriander, ½ tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp hot chilli powder, 1 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 medium onions (halved and sliced), 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped), 400g can of chopped tomatoes, 500ml cold water, 3 tbsp runny honey, 400g can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed), 1 lamb stock cube, 1 medium sweet potato (about 250g), 75g no-soak dried apricots (halved), flaked sea salt, ground black pepper, fresh flat-leaf parsley and finely grated lemon zest to serve (optional)
Cost per portion: Approx £2.85 per portion
Method: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C / Fan 160 degrees / Gas 4. Trim the lamb of any hard fat and cut the meat into rough 3cm chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper. Mix the cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chilli powder in a small bowl.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish or saucepan. Add the lamb, onions and garlic and stir-fry over a high heat for 1 minute until lightly coloured. Sprinkle with the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes more, tossing constantly. Take the pan off the heat as soon as the spices begin to give off a strong aroma.
Tip the tomatoes into the casserole dish and add the water, honey and chickpeas. Crumble the stock cube over the top and stir well. Bring to a simmer on the hob, stirring a couple of times, then cover the dish with a lid and put it in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour.
Just before the lamb is due to come out of the oven, peel the sweet potato and cut it into rough 2.5cm chunks. Carefully remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the sweet potato and apricots. Put the lid back on and return the casserole to the oven. Cook for another 45-60 minutes or until the lamb is very tender.
Serve the tagine sprinkled with some roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley tossed with a little very finely grated lemon zest if you like. The zest adds a little extra spark of flavour.