Last sunday we had a lovely meal. We were busy making chocolates, so we needed a dish you could assemble and pop into the oven. We used those tiny little cast iron pans so everyone had a cute individual pan. This also makes it easy to adjust the dish to everyone’s personal liking. One of our friends is pregnant and she did NOT want any mint NEAR her pan, so we did one without mint.
I titled this recipe lamb tagine because I believe it will taste even better when made in a tagine - somehow I think it will retain more moisture, as the little pans did come out a bit dry. Odd, considering we even added more moisture after the first hour of cooking. Any ideas on why that happened?
On to the recipe!
Lamb tagine with prunes and almonds
Serves 4 (generously, we had enough extra helping(s) for our dear pregnant friend who eats for 2 :))
500 gr lamb neck, or shoulder or shanks cut into small cubes
200 ml of beef stock
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp ras el hanout
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed saffron threads
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger or crushed fresh ginger
1 cup of pitted prunes
1/2 cup of (slivered) almonds
1/2 cup of freshly toasted sesame seeds
A bunch of mint for garnish.
1. Start by sweating the onions over medium heat in the tagine. When translucent, add the garlic and stir for 5 minutes or until fragrant.
2. Add the lamb and make sure you brown all pieces evenly.
3. Add the ras el hanout, (ground) ginger, cumin, saffron threads, turmeric and beef stock and stir well. Put the lid on and let it simmer for at least 1 hour before checking for doneness. If you can no longer retain yourself: take a peek and notice that the sauce has become syrupy and gorgeous.
4. After an hour taste to see if it needs more seasoning and add the prunes, almonds. Leave it to simmer for another hour or more. Right before serving add the mint and sprinkle over some sesame seeds. Enjoy!
If you make this in individual pans, put the meat and onions in the pans after browning them, add the beef stock and spices, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and put them in the over for an hour. After an hour, check for seasoning and add the prunes and almonds. Cook for another hour and add the mint before serving.