Saturday, September 5, 2009

Lamb Tajine

A couple of weeks ago I saw Lamb Shoulder on sale it was about $1.20 per pound, it was pretty close to the expiration date so I bought 2 pounds and put it right into the freezer. Oddly it was cut like steaks for the grill which would have been unusable because they would have been too tough, plus the silverskin and the little pieces of bone would have been unwieldy on any plate.

There are always issues when I cook lamb at my house I mean face it they are really cute and the rest of my house is against cooking and eating the cute creatures. I on the other hand blame God, I didn't make the cute fuzzy guys taste so good. When I cooked it this time I made a Tajine which is really the North African way to say Stew. I trimmed the shoulder of bones, silverskin,and most of the fat there was about a pound of meat left when I finished (I put the bones and some fat into the freezer to make stock later). Then heated up a couple of Tablespoons of Olive in deep iron skillet. I dredged the meat in flour and browned it with some garlic and onions then took it all out to deglaze the skillet with the Chicken Stock. Here are the ingredients that I used:

2 pounds of Lamb shoulder trimmed cut into 1" cubes
1 small Onion Diced
2 cloves of Garlic Minced
8 oz Chicken Stock
8 oz White Wine
2 small Parsnips Peeled and Diced
1 Apple Diced
1 6 oz can of Black Olives drained
8 oz of Chick Peas drained
3-4 slices of Preserved Lemon
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
8-10 dried Figs Quartered
After I deglazed the pan with about 1/2 the chicken stock I put the meat and onions back in with the rest of the chicken stock, white wine and the rest of the ingredients leaving the figs out for now. I turned the burner down to low heat and let it braze for most of two hours.

A little bit about me... this probably would have taken quite a bit less time if I weren't such a poker. I can't just put food on and ignore it, this dish should probably be stirred and checked every 20 minutes or so to make sure that the pan doesn't dry up and so you can judge when it is close to done so you can add the figs. I poke and taste and worry the entire time I slow cook anything, I can't even use a crock pot unless I will be gone for 8 hours or I spend all day checking it, completely defeating the purpose of using it. As this was starting to cook together I would check, ooh there is too much liquid, this is going to be too watery, oh the turnips aren't done enough yet do they have time, Oh there isn't enough liquid, should I add some more wine? Truth is if I had checked it 4 or five times while it cooked instead of 258 I wouldn't have had exactly the right amount of liquid and everything would have cooked just fine.

Anyway... after the Turnips are soft, the lamb is tender and the apples are completely mush add the Figs for the last 20 minutes or so. I love the flavors and color of this dish the Turmeric, Cayenne and Garlic work so well with these ingredients there is a little spice to it, but not too much, the sweet figs add such a nice touch and I love the surprise flavor from a preserved lemon when I bite into that.

No comments:

Post a Comment