Saturday, 20 November 2010

Maroccan Tagine with chestnuts, saffron and pomegranate served with cous cous

My favorite time of the year - Christmas is lurking around the corner and i am getting into christmas mode more and more with every day that passes. This is a delicious and super easy recipe to make at home with typical winter flavors and scents such as saffron, chestnuts, pomegranate, cinnamon... you will love this recipe.

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
pinch of saffron
2 cinnamon sticks
1 kg lean lamb, from leg or shoulder, diced
250 g peeled chestnuts ( buy the ready prepared ones from the shop)
2 tbsp runny honey
1 pomegranate, seeds
1 handful of mint leaves
1 handful of coriander leaves
salt and pepper to season

Fruity Cous cous
350g cous cous
600 ml chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 handful of sultanas
1 handful of flaked almonds
1/2 lemon rind and juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Spicy, lemony yoghurt
150 ml of natural, greek yoghurt
a squeeze of lemon
drizzle of olive oil
sprinkle of cayenne pepper

Making the tagine:
1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
1. Heat up the olive oil in a large casserole or tagine. Add the onions and garlic and sweat for 3 min until soft and start coloring slightly.
2. Add the saffron and cinnamon sticks, stir and let infuse for a few minutes.
3. Toss in the diced lamb. Stir around and pour in enough water to cover almost all the lamb.
4. Bring to boil and then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and put in the preheated oven for about 1 hour.
5. Take out of the oven, stir in the honey and add the chestnuts. Cover with the lid again and put back in the oven for another 30 min.

In the meantime, prepare the cous cous:
1. put the cous cous in a large bowl and pour in the chicken stock. Cover with cling film and leave for 10 min.
2. Soak the sultanas in warm water for 5 min until soft and drain of the excess liquid.
3. Put the almond flakes in a pan and roast over high heat and continuously string until golden.
4. Add the sultanas, roast almond flakes, lemon rind and juice, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Make the yoghurt:
1. Put the yoghurt in a bowl and stir in the lemon juice.
2. Drizzle some olive oil on top and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

6. Now the meat should be tender and falling apart in your fingers -  then its done.
7. Season to taste, add the pomegranate seeds, mint and coriander. Serve immediately.

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