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Moroccan Lamb Tagine and Couscous

Serves 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

This delicious meatball recipe is inspired by the traditional Moroccan tagine, or slow cooked stew. Using minced meat instead of shanks more than halves the cooking time. The meat is tender and the sauce is rich and spicy. Look out for Moroccan spice mix at the supermarket or ‘Ras el hanout’ at specialty food stores. You can cook this dish equally well in an ovenproof dish covered with tin foil if you do not have a clay tagine.

Ingredients

Method

Meat balls

  • 500 g Prime Lamb Mince
  • 2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • flour for dusting
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut diagonally
  • 1 large kumara, cubed
  • 200g canned tomatoes
  • 2 tsp Moroccan spice mix or (Ras el hanout)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 50g dried peaches or apricots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 375 ml chicken stock
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

 

For buttered couscous

  • 250g couscous
  • 200ml water, boiling
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • knob of butter
View the method
  1. In a large bowl mix together the lamb mince, spice, breadcrumbs and egg yolk. Get in there and use your hands!
  2. Shape meatballs from a tablespoon of mixture rolled in the palm of your hands. Then roll each ball in flour that you have seasoned with salt and pepper. The flour coating will seal the balls and also help thicken the sauce. Heat a dash of oil in a non-stick fry pan and brown the meatballs gently on all sides for 10 minutes. Place in tagine or covered casserole dish and prepare sauce.
  3. Clean out fry pan with a paper towel then add the olive oil and sauté onions, carrots and kumara. Puree, or mash, the tinned tomatoes and add to the pan together with the peaches. Pour into tagine or oven proof dish and lastly add honey and chicken stock. Cover and put into a moderate oven and cook for 1/2 hour to enable flavours to develop.
  4. Ten minutes before the tagine is cooked put the couscous and salt into a large bowl and stir in the boiling water. Cover with a tea towel and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Add a knob of butter and fresh herbs, such as coriander. Heap couscous directly into the tagine and serve at the table.
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