Tagine of lamb shoulder, potato and peas recipe

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There are many conveniences to cooking a Moroccan-style tagine, a big one being you don’t have to brown the meat first. A tagine is a one-pot wonder, with just a handful of spices (cumin, coriander, ginger and paprika) used; some recipes simply call for the top-shelf spice blend known as ras el hanout. Moroccan cooking has been described as ‘Indian for beginners’, but this should not be taken to imply that Moroccan cuisine is not layered and complex.

  • Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1¾ oz (50 g) butter
  • 2 onions sliced into thin wedges
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) lamb shoulder cut into 4 cm (1½ inch) chunks
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf (Italian) parsley finely chopped
  • 6 small kipfler (fingerling) potatoes peeled
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 5½ oz/1 cup (155 g) frozen peas
  • bread to serve
How to Make It
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a tagine or flameproof heavy-based casserole dish over medium–high heat. When the butter is sizzling, add the onion, garlic and salt. Cook for 4–5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the lamb pieces and stir for a couple of minutes. Sprinkle with the cumin and paprika, then stir to coat the meat in the spicy onion mixture.
  3. Pour in 375 ml (13 fl oz/1½ cups) water, add the parsley and coriander and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, then leave to simmer for 1½ hours.
  4. Meanwhile, put the potatoes and saffron in a saucepan, cover with cold water and cook over high heat until the water boils. Remove from the heat and leave for 20 minutes. Drain well.
  5. When the lamb has been cooking for 1½ hours, stir in the peas and lay the potatoes on top. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes. Serve with bread.
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