Original recipe of the week: Midsummer Dream
Although not officially midsummer, the recent change in weather has seemed to promote a change in mood in the city, let alone dress sense and food choice. When it’s hot like this there nothing nicer than enjoying a glass of wine with friends and indulging in some home-cooked food. A Tagine is the perfect way to entertain with minimal fuss and maximum guest attention. All you need to do (really) is sling it all together a wait for the magic to happen. A Tagine, which is actually the name of the pot this stew dish is cooked in, relishes from the Middle East. Slow-cooked cuts of meat and veg work best, but any combination you wish is fine by me. Pair with a simple salad or even couscous or Bulgur wheat for a more substantial supper to soak up all the alcohol!
Lamb, spinach and preserved lemon Tagine
Cooking time: 45 minutes
What you will need:
1kg diced lamb
4 preserved lemons
1 handful of parsley
1 clove of diced garlic
1 chopped onion
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground ginger
½ pint of vegetable stock
1tbs paprika (preferable spicy)
300g peeled, chopped butternut squash
200g chopped chestnut mushrooms
200g chopped aubergine
1 handful of flour
salt and pepper to taste
a Tagine or heavy based saucepan with a lid
What you need to do:
- Gently fry the onion until soft and add the garlic. While this is browning, place the lamb in a plastic sandwich bag and add flour. Shake the bag to ensure all the meat is covered.
- Add the lamb to the pan and fry to brown, when browned you can start to add the veg
- Add all veg – apart from parsley, spinach, preserved lemons and chopped tomatoes – and mix.
- When these are all mixed together, you can add the spices, tomato puree and stock, give this a stir and add the chopped tomatoes.
- Place the lid on and turn down the heat to a simmer and leave for around ten minutes.
- After about ten minutes remove the lid, be careful it might be hot, and give it a stir. Taste and season if you feel necessary.
- Replace the lid and leave again for about 20 minutes but keep a close eye on it.
- After this time, you can now add the spinach, parsley and lemons, give it a good mix and replace the lid for the last time.
- Now leave alone for 10-15 minutes and you’re ready to go.
- Simply top with some chopped mint and a squeeze of fresh lemon, some pomegranate if you like, and serve with couscous for an authentic touch.