This recipe is adapted from my Moroccan Lamb Tagine recipe from the archives. A recipe which I've mentioned before won a place in Rachel Allen's Kerrygold Community E-recipe book. A recipe I am very proud of. I came up with this recipe as I was planning a dinner party, and wanted a chilled out casual style party. You know, with mezze and pick n'mix style spread. I immediately thought of my lamb tagine, which is even better when made in advance. However my mother detests lamb. So that ruled lamb out, but not a tagine! There was an epic beef and prune stew on Rick Stein's French Oddessy recently on the UKTV Food channel, so I thought why not substitute the lamb for beef and the apricots for prunes. I did, and it worked beautifully. It was a really fragrant, spicy rich dish, and I added pomegranate seeds for freshness. It was I must say divine. I just added a simply cous cous, flatbreads, and yogurt and it turned into the heartiest meal we have eaten in ages.
1. Combine all the spices, garlic and onion and rub into the meat
2. Leave to marinate, preferably overnight, although an hour should be sufficient.. In a lidded oven proof casserole dish, add the butter and olive oil on a medium heat.
3. Brown the meat, in batches if necessary.
4. Add all the meat back into the casserole dish, adding the carrots, tinned tomatoes, sugar, and tomato paste, salt and pepper.
5. Bring up to the boil and put lid on the dish and put in a preheated oven for 1.5 hours at 180 degrees.
6. Meanwhile, put cous cous in a bowl, add butter, rind of lemon, season with salt and pepper and pour over 150 mls of boiling water and cover for ten mins.
7. Fluff with a fork, adding half the chopped parsley, chickpeas, half the pomegranate seeds and the raisins.
8. Put prunes in a jug of boiling water and leave for 5-10 mins for them to re-hydrate a little and get nice and juicy, then cut in half.
9. Put the flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast in the oven, keeping an eye on them as they can burn in matter of seconds.
10. Remove the casserole dish from the oven and add the prunes and almonds and runny honey.
11. Return the dish (uncovered) to the oven for a final 20 mins to brown.
12. Put the pittas in the oven to warm through.
13. Remove the dish from the oven and present to the table in the dish adding the chopped coriander.
14. Put the cous cous, yogurt and pittas in bowls on the table and let your guests help themselves, Moroccan style! Enjoy.
(sorry for the poor quality photos, a child feel ill, and we got distracted and never ended up photographing the food/spread. But, shur, another reason to do it all again.)