Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to Morocco: Summer Lamb Tagine with Zucchini, Red Peppers and Mint

Maybe it's the delightfully fun look of the tagine on my stove or maybe it's the bold flavors of Moroccan food, but lately I can't get enough! I tried another tagine from Basan's cookbook. As usual, I made some modifications and we still found it a bit blah so the recipe below is what I would've done or what I will do next time. Basically I've added a couple of things and increased the amount of spices and changed the technique a little... all in the name of flavor - big Moroccan flavor. As with the other tagines I've created, a heavy pot will work just fine, too!

Also, the cooking time for this one makes it challenging for a weeknight. I prepped everything in the morning. I had my tagine out, meat cubed, aromatics chopped and spices all measured. All I had to do was cut some mint while the oil heated. Then while it cooked, I headed out to do some gardening (a short adventure because the mosquitoes got me...).

Tagine of Lamb with Zucchini, Mint and Bell Peppers
  • 1 half boneless lamb leg, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh chopped mint, plus 2 Tbsp. for garnish
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 zucchini, cut on a diagonal into thick slices
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into large strips
  • juice of half a lemon

Lightly crush the spices with a mortar and pestle.

Combine the lamb, spices, 1 Tbsp. mint, garlic and ginger with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large bowl. Mix well and refrigerate for a couple hours.

Heat the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a tagine or large heavy pot. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the meat and spices. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the meat to brown a little and then add just enough water to almost cover the meat. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 90 minutes. Skim off any fat that rises to the top.

Add the vegetables and cover again. Let cook about 15 minutes longer until vegetables are crisp tender. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Taste to see if more salt and pepper are needed.

Sprinkle with remaining fresh mint. Serve with couscous.

Serves 4.


wasabi prime said...

Oh my -- that looks amazing. I just want to take a bite out of the computer screen! Beautiful use of such delicious ingredients.

ladyberd said...

I'd love to visit Morocco. But until I can I think I'll trust what I've learned from a close friend from Morocco years ago as well as from the cookbooks by Moroccan authors that I have consulted. All suggest simple couscous as an accompaniment to a tagine. What's more, I enjoy it.

Jessie said...

I never had Moroccan cuisine but after reading this, I'm so eager to give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

I am always eating curries & I fancied a change tonight & saw this lush recipe!!!! I love the sound of this, as I'm always trying to pack more veggies in my diet!!!! X

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