Lamb and Prune Tagine (Agneau aux Pruneaux)
A tagine is a deep, glazed clay dish with a domed top that has a vent in it to allow the excess steam to escape. It must be seasoned before use by putting it on low heat, adding 1 cup (250 mL) milk, covering it and heating it for 20 – 30 minutes. The milk should only simmer but not boil dry. Let the tagine cool before disposing of the milk, washing the pot and drying it.
- 3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive or canola oil
- 2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp (5 mL) cinnamon
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
- ½ tsp (2 mL) black pepper
- ½ tsp (2 mL) turmeric
- ½ tsp (2 mL) saffron
- 2 tsps (10 mL) grated fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh parsley
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) minced fresh coriander
- 1 cup (250 mL) pitted whole prunes
- 600 – 700 g lean lamb or beef
- 2 – 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- 2 cups (500 mL) water
- ½ cup (125 mL) whole, blanched almonds
- 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sesame seeds.
- Icing sugar, as needed – to dust at the end
Cut the meat into ½ – ¾” (1 – 1.5 cm) cubes. Set aside.
Place the tagine base over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the onion and garlic, stirring and cooking till tender. Cover with the lid for part of the cooking time.
Measure in the cinnamon, salt, ground ginger, turmeric, saffron, fresh ginger, parsley, coriander and prunes. Stir in the meat and arrange the potatoes around the perimeter of the pot. Add the water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1 ½ – 2 hours, or till the meat is tender. Add water as needed.
Meanwhile prepare the garnish. In a shallow dry skillet, brown the almonds on medium heat. Just before they are fully golden, toss in the sesame seeds. Continue to dry roast for 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To serve, top the dish with the almonds and sesame seeds. Dust with a little icing sugar.
Recipe from Anita Stewart’s CANADA: The Food, The Recipes, The Stories (HarperCollins Canada 2008).