Lamb, Date, Olive and Apricot Tagine created by Gastro Gays for the European Try Lamb campaign
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400g diced lamb shoulder
1 large white onion, sliced
Lamb (or chicken, vegetable) stock pot/cube
350ml tomato passata
1 tbsp double concentrate tomato purée
2 tsp each plain flour and cornflour, mixed together with a little water to pouring consistency
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
A thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
100g dried apricots, whole
100g pitted dates, whole
Baby peppers (yellow, orange, red), in half of thirds and seeds removed(optional)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne Pepper
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried ginger
2 tbsp Harissa
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
5-10 saffron threads
2 tsp salt
2 tsp runny honey or maple syrup
Chickpeas, drained (pre-cooked)
A handful of large green olives, washed (pitted, if you prefer)
Sliced almonds, to serve
Parsley or coriander, chopped, to serve
In a heavy pot on a medium-high heat, heat a tbsp or two of oil until shimmering and add in your lamb in two batches, turning eventually until each piece is sealed and golden. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and set in a clean bowl to one side.
In the same pot, add a little extra oil, if need be, and turn the heat down to medium-low and gently fry the onions, followed by the garlic and ginger, until softened but not overly browned.
Add your spices (smoked paprika, cayenne, harissa, white pepper and salt) and stir the vegetables to coat them whilst cooking out the spices a little.
Add your tomato puree and cook for a further minute, stirring through the rest of the ingredients before deglazing with a little water.
Add your tomato passata, honey, saffron threads and stock pot and bring the mixture up to the boil before stirring in your flour mixture.
Add in the peppers, apricots and dates and finally return the lamb to the pot. Remove from the heat, clamp on a lid and cook at 150ºC in the oven for 2.5 hours. Then, add in the chickpeas and olives, cooking for a further 30-60 minutes until the lamb is tender, the dried fruit plumped and softened and the sauce thick and rich. You can achieve similar by cooking in the ‘high’ setting of your slow cooker for 3-4 hours; in that method you can just add every ingredient
Finish with a scattering of the almonds and the chopped herbs, serving alongside some steamed rice and/or flatbread.