Yesterday, I drove to Bridport in Dorset, which is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I was visiting my Aunt Jane and my lovely, lovely cousin Jennifer for the day and night. Jenny lives in Germany so I don't get to see her much, which is such a shame because there are few people in the world whose company I enjoy more.
When we were planning my visit, as I often do, I said "I'll cook!" and so I arrived with a lot of my spices and some other bits and made this super easy lamb tajine. It's brilliant for cooking for friends because after the initial bit of work, you just leave it to work its own magic while you drink a glass or three of wine and catch up with your favourite people.
I didn't take a picture of mine last night, but this is what it looks like
Moroccan Lamb Tajine With Apricots And Olives
Serves 4, 30 mins prep, 90 minutes cooking time
1kg lamb leg, cut into large chunks
2 large onions, sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cm knob ginger, grated
1 preserved lemon, zest only, finely chopped
12-15 dried apricots, halved
8 large, green olives with the pits still in
2 tbsp harissa (or to taste)
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
In a large casserole or tajine, heat the olive oil over a med-high heat and fry the harissa and spices for about 30 seconds before adding the chunks of lamb. Stir the lamb well into the spices and cook for several minutes, browning the meat well on all sides. Stir the onions, ginger and garlic into the lamb and continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring periodically until the onions are beginning to soften.
Add the apricots, olives and preserved lemon zest, then pour over a cup of water. Reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to cook for 90 minutes or so, checking every so often to make sure the moisture levels don't get too low. If after the 90 minutes, there's a little too much moisture, just remove the lid and turn up the heat a little.
Serve with over cous cous infused with a little paprika and freshly grated lemon zest. Scatter with chopped parsely.
Have another few glasses of wine and watch Priscilla Queen of the Desert with the women folk.