Friday, February 4, 2011

Moroccan Lamb and Lemon Tagine

I found this recipe in a Costco magazine article by Bruce Aidells, I adapted it using more fresh ingredients rather than the dried in the magazine.

3 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 1/2 cups finely diced onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger (Used fresh grated ginger)
1 Tablespoon paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
Pinch of saffron (optional, I had some in stock)
1 tsp dried mint (I used 1 tbsp fresh mint)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro stems (save leaves for garnish) (This is the only ingredient I was unsure about because I have always been told that cilantro stems are bitter)
1 1/2 cups water
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 fresh lemon cut into eighths lengthwise and seeded
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
20 kalamata or mild green olives, well washed and pitted
2 cups crookneck squash, or yellow zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks or whole okra (or combination of all three) I used the zucchini.
Cilantro leaves for garnish

Combine the first 12 ingredients in a large heavy pot with a lid or a Dutch oven. Add the water: bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the lamb is tender. Add more water if needed.

Add the carrots and lemon wedges, making sure they are covered with liquid (add more water, if needed) and cook for 10 more minutes. Add lemon juice, olives and squash, and cook covered for 10 to 15 minutes more or until the carrots and squash are tender. Remove the solids from the pot with a slotted spoon, leaving the liquid behind.

Arrange the meat and vegetables in a shallow serving dish or deep platter. Degrease the sauce and reduce it by boiling to concentrate the flavors. It should have a soup-like consistency. Taste for salkt, pepper and lemon, and adjust as desired. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serves 6 to 8