Monday, October 29, 2007

Lamb and date tagine

Now that it's finally cool outside, I'm in the mood to cook heavier, saucier dishes. Some people have said to me that lamb is intimidating because it has to be cooked correctly or it tastes awful. This Moroccan recipe for a lamb and date stew, or tagine, is delicious and easy. My dad ate a similar dish in Paris at a place called Wally Le Saharien. Dates and lamb are a match made in heaven. The dates bring a touch of sweetness to the lamb.

Lamb and date tagine
Serves 4
2 T olive oil
2 ½ lb lamb shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
¼ t. turmeric
¼ t. ground ginger
¼ t. finely chopped garlic
½ ground black pepper
6 fresh springs coriander (aka cilantro)
¾ to 1 c. pitted dates
2 c. water
¼ t. ground cinnamon

Heat oil in a large heavy casserole and lightly brown meet in all sides. Add salt, spices and garlic. Toss w/ meat and cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Add the onion, coriander springs, and water. Bring to boil and simmer, covered for 1 ½ hour (adding more water if necessary), or until meat is tender.

Preheat oven to highest setting.

Spread meat in one layer in an ovenproof serving dish. Place the dates in between the meat. Remove coriander sprigs from cooking liquid. Correct the seasonings, adding cayenne to taste. Pour sauce over meat and sprinkle with cinnamon. Set on highest shelf of oven and bake uncovered until dates become crusty – about 15 minutes.


Rae said...

sounds delicious! i have made a middle eastern lamb and apricot stew that's probably in a similar vein - that one is super yummy too. :)

durhamfood said...

Lamb isn't hard. I love simple lamb chops, rubbed with turmeric and a few dried green herbs, quickly grilled (or broiled, or baked). Goes great with mashed potatoes and something green.

Also, almost anything calling for lamb can be made with goat, which is nice for a change of pace once in a while.