In the summer months when we want something that little bit heartier for our dinner, the slow cooker becomes my best friend. If I don't want to be heating up the kitchen, the slow cooker is the way to go! I have three slow cookers. One in a large size for making dishes large enough to feed over 4 people, and two smaller ones which are perfectly sized for two people, a round one and an oval one, because a small round one doesn't always cut the mustard when it comes to slow cooking. A small oval one is perfect for small roasts, hams, etc.
Slow cooking lends itself perfectly to creating delicious dishes like this Lamb Tagine I am showing you here today. A Tagine is traditionally a Moroccan dish. I love the flavours of Moroccan food.
Moroccan cuisine is a delicious mix of Arabic, Andalusian, Mediterranean and Berber cuisine with a dash of European and Subsaharian influence thrown in for good measure. Think what we traditionally see as warm baking spices . . . cinnamon, ginger, mace, nutmeg and cloves . . . with some heat through in from cayenne and black pepper . . . and lemon. They love to use preserved lemons . . . leafy things like coriander . . . rose petals. And this is by no means a complete list, but merely a hint of the deliciousness involved.
They also love using tomatoes, dried apricots, dates, prunes . . . I love savoury dishes with dried fruit involved, and this one is just wonderful using both apricots and prunes . . . and zest of oranges . . .
The sauce is fragrant and delicious . . . sweet and savoury at the same time, with a tiny bit of heat, but not overpoweringly so . . .
The sauce/gravy is thickened with ground almonds or what you might know in American as almond meal, which lends a slight nuttiness into the mix . . . and then there is the sweetness of that oh so tender lamb . . .
Lamb was not something I had ever eaten a lot of before I moved over here to the UK. My only experience with it had been my mother cooking lamb chops once for us when I was a teenager. They smelled like burning wool when she was cooking them, and none of us would eat them. The thought of eating burning wool was not very appealing.
I can only think now that they were not very good lamb chops . . . because I have never had lamb over here that smelled like burning wool, or tasted like it for that matter. I truly love the taste . . . young tender lamb has a delicate almost sweet taste. Older lamb can taste a bit gamey, but its not bad either.
*Lamb Tagine*Serves 2
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground sweet paprika
1/4 tsp ground ginger1 tsp runny clear honey
I hope you will take advantage of your slow cooker this summer and make this delicious Moroccan stew! I think you will love it! Bon Appetit, or as they say in Morocco, بالصحة و العافية! Now that's what I would call a tongue twister, lol Serving it with peas and rice is so, so . . . well, English. In Morocco you would probably have it with couscous!