Monday, 13 May 2013

Lamb and rhubarb tagine recipe

Another favourite tagine recipe! This one is particularly good at this time of year as its unusual blend of flavours make the most of Spring lamb and sweet early rhubarb. It's good anytime you can get rhubarb but tends to get a sharper flavour as the stalks get older. I love meat and fruit tastes together, especially slow cooked, so traditional tagine recipes like this  are perfect for me! We've eaten the meal twice in three weeks, partly because it's delicious and partly because I forgot to take any photos last time - too eager to get eating!
The ingredients below serve two.

Olive oil
1 onion, sliced and diced
1-2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp plain flour
salt and pepper
300g lamb neck fillet, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp ground coriander
2-3 rhubarb stalks
200ml stock
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried mint

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic until softened and starting to brown. Transfer to the tagine.

Place the flour in a bowl with plenty of salt and pepper. Dredge the lamb through the flour and shake of the excess. Brown the lamb pieces in the frying pan with the ground coriander. I usually sprinkle the coriander over the lamb as the first pieces start to brown so it mixes in with the flour coating. If there is any of the flour/salt/pepper left over after dredging, add it to the tagine. When browned, transfer the lamb to the tagine.

Peel the rhubarb and chop into inch-long pieces. Stir them around the hot frying pan for a few minutes then transfer to the tagine. Hopefully this will pick up the last of the lamby-coriander mix that might have stuck to the frying pan. If not, swizzle a splash of the stock around to loosen it and then pour all the stock into the tagine.

Add 2 tbsp dried parsley and 1 tbsp dried mint to the tagine and mix gently until all the ingredients are combined. If you have managed to get hold of fresh parsley and/or mint, keep them until near the end of the cooking time and add them with maybe 10 minutes to go.

Put the lid on the tagine and cook it in the preheated oven for about one and a half hours. Serve with cous cous or rice.

I normally use lamb neck fillet because it is a cheap cut that I can buy in a small pack. Any cut will do though and the photo above actually shows chump steaks because they were on special at the Co-Op! You'd just need to bear in mind that generally cheaper cuts take longer to cook so the timings might need to be adjusted accordingly.
Also, most of the versions of this recipe I've seen say that the rhubarb should be put in towards the end of the cooking time so it still has 'bite' and is in chunks. We prefer it to have almost completely disintegrated as this helps to thicken the sauce and disguise the fruit content - Dave doesn't like rhubarb. He does like this dinner!

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